Agents Learn About Luxury
From left: Jeffrey Anderson, America’s
Vacation Center; Joan Devine, Brampton
CruiseShip Centers; Irene Anderson,
MK Travel & Tours; Rudi Schreiner,
Amadeus Waterways; and
Carlanne McCrystal, TopDawg Travel.
Drawing 125 home-based and traditional agents from the U.S. and
Canada, Platinum Luxury Society held its seventh annual
International Luxury Symposium at the World Trade Center in Seattle
on May 31. The gathering featured talks by top executives from
consortia and host agencies as well as suppliers of travel, each
focusing on how agents can increase luxury sales.
Other activities for attendees included an executive social with
wines from the Northwest, a CLIA workshop and a reception at the
Space Needle. Founded in 1992, PLS offers agents continuing
education opportunities in the form of seminars at sea.
From Holland To America
Right: Erin Pedersen
Erin Pedersen (right), business development manager for New
Mexico, presented travel agent Wanda Mattiace with a commemorative
certificate to celebrate her 50th anniversary of living in the U.S.
As a 5-year-old, Mattiace arrived in New York from Rotterdam in
March 1957, sailing aboard Holland America Line’s Groote Beer.
Mattiace now owns Adventure Travel Inc. in Las Cruces, N.M. “I
never would have imagined when I arrived in the U.S. that one day I
would work in the travel industry selling cruises on Holland
America Line,” said Mattiace. “The only thing I would do
differently if I could is put all the latest Signature of
Excellence amenities on the ship we sailed in the fifties. Imagine
IsramWorld Appoints Allen
A. Ady Gelber, CEO and executive chairman of the board of
IsramWorld, has announced the appointment of Deborah Allen as
regional business development manager, Midwest.
Based in Illinois, Allen will focus on the development of sales
in her area with personal visits and arranging in-house product
seminars. Allen has traveled extensively throughout Asia, Europe
and Latin America and lived in Hong Kong for several years.
Westin Welcomes Balraj
Sumithra Balraj has been appointed director of public relations at
The Westin Maui Resort & Spa.
In her new role, Balraj will be responsible for identifying,
developing and maximizing public relations initiatives for the
Prior to joining the resort, Balraj was a senior account
executive at McNeil Wilson Communications, Inc. under the travel
and tourism division. She was also the public relations manager of
the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu for two years
since August 2003.
Villa Group Selects Nunez and Ghartey
The Villa Group has announced the appointment of key personnel.
Sergio Nunez has been named hotel manager for the company’s
245-suite Villa La Estancia Beach Resort & Spa Nuevo Vallarta.
Nunez will be responsible for daily operations of the new resort.
Claudia Susanna Ghartey has been appointed to the position of
regional director of spas for The Villa Group Resorts Vallarta.
Ghartey will oversee operations for the spa adjacent to Villa
del Palmar Flamingos Beach Resort & Spa and Villa La Estancia
Beach Resort & Spa in Nuevo Vallarta. She will also be
responsible for the Bay Breeze Spa at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort
& Spa in Puerto Vallarta.