Passing of Kirk Smith
Kirk Smith, Hawaiian Airlines vice president of sales and
marketing, died suddenly in Honolulu on Feb 4. Smith, 60, was
well-known and well-respected in the travel industry, both in
connection with his role at Hawaiian Airlines and in previous
travel industry positions. The long-time resident of Hawaii had
served in numerous capacities during his nearly four decades in the
Smith joined Hawaiian Airlines in 2003, after working for its
advertising agency, Starr Seigle Communications. He served as
senior director for advertising and promotions before being
promoted to vice president-sales and marketing in 2005.
Mark Dunkerley, the airline’s chief executive officer, said of
Smith: “His title gives only a small sense of his contributions to
our business. More than any other person in our organization, Kirk
was responsible for keeping our product Hawaiian and for developing
our brand in such a way that it remains true to our local roots and
appealing to our customers. He oversaw our advertising activities
and in so doing turned our brand into the single most widely
recognized airline brand for Hawaii travel. This was an
accomplishment about which I and others have bragged a good deal
but he never did. He was also responsible for overseeing the
company’s promotional activity including all of the volunteer and
community support activity that the company sponsors.”
Smith is survived by his daughter, Tara Smith, and his longtime
partner, Audrey Higuchi.
Major Restructuring at Silversea
Silversea Cruises has announced a major internal restructuring
initiative designed to support the continued growth and expansion
of the company.
Albert Peter, who has served as chief executive officer since
2001, is transitioning to deputy chairman of Silversea Leisure and
Travel, an affiliate company based in Monaco and led by Silversea
Cruises Holding Ltd. chairman Manfredi Lefebvre. The unit focuses
on investment opportunities in the travel and leisure markets.
Lefebvre will continue as Silversea Cruises Holding Ltd. chairman,
overseeing the group’s strategy, based in the Monaco
“We are very grateful to Albert for his terrific contribution to
Silversea as chief executive over the past six years and are very
glad he will continue as a key player in future developments that
shareholders have planned. He has guided the company through
challenging times, ensuring with shareholders’ support Silversea’s
survival post 9/11, and has done much to ensure the company’s
financial success and return to profitability. We will continue to
draw on his very extensive and wide-ranging experience to develop
our leisure and travel investment unit,” said Lefebvre.
Amerigo Perasso has been promoted to president of Silversea,
responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company and will
also be based in Monaco. The sales and marketing, revenue
management, vessel operations, finance, information technology,
human resources and legal departments will report to him.
Perasso, 41, was appointed as chief financial and revenue
officer in 2004 and joined the Silversea group of companies in
1997, working on the project that led to the construction of Silver
Shadow and Silver Whisper.
David Morris has been promoted to executive vice president,
worldwide sales and marketing. Morris joined the Silversea
executive team in 2003 as senior vice president of sales for North
America and was promoted in 2006 to executive vice president of
sales and marketing for North America.
Morris will report to the president and will continue to be
based in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office.
Silversea Cruises offers guests large-ship amenities aboard four
vessels, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow and Silver
Whisper. For the ninth year, Silversea was named number one
small-ship line in the 2005 “Readers’ Choice” survey conducted by
Conde Nast Traveler magazine. For the sixth time, Silversea was
selected world’s best small-ship line in the 2004 Travel + Leisure
Frontier Launches New Service Between San Jose and Cabo San
As of March 3, Frontier Airlines will begin nonstop service four
times a week between Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
and Cabo San Lucas (SJD) airports. Frontier Airlines estimates that
this service could mean 50,000 more Northern California visitors a
year for Cabo San Lucas. Conversely, San Jose could potentially
expect up to 5,000 visitors a year in the early stages of the
“We think this has a lot of potential for growth down the road,”
said Daniel Fenton, president & CEO of the San Jose Convention
& Visitors Bureau. “Between this and other international
airline service coming along in the future, we will be better able
to position San Jose as an international business and convention
The service will be aboard Frontier’s new fleet of Airbus 319
with 33 inches of legroom along with DIRECTV and pay-per-view
movies in every seat back.
ASTA Backs Plan to Scrap Aviation Ticket Tax
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is supporting a key
element of President Bush’s proposed federal budget for 2008. The
budget calls for the elimination of passenger ticket taxes on
commercial airlines. If approved, the plan would dramatically
impact who pays for the nation’s air traffic system, essentially
shifting the costs from consumers to business and private aircraft
companies by 2009.
“While the full details of President Bush’s proposed 2008 budget
have not been released, it appears that business and leisure
travelers will be the clear winners,” said Cheryl Hudak, ASTA
president and CEO. “ASTA has long said that consumers should not
unfairly shoulder the burden of subsidizing the airline industry.
We are pleased to see that when it comes to this issue, we have
friends in high places.”
Currently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) receives
the bulk of its funding from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.
This fund, in turn, receives approximately half of its money from a
7.5 percent tax levied on consumers’ airline tickets. This tax is
in addition to a $3.40 segment fee paid by consumers for a domestic
flight or a $15.10 international arrival and departure fee (both
are adjusted annually for inflation).
Under Bush’s plan, the 7.5 percent tax would be eliminated.
Corporate and private jet companies would continue to fund the
trust through jet fuel taxes but these taxes would be increased to
reflect their usage of the system. According to the FAA, private
flights contribute only 3 percent to the trust but account for 11
percent of air traffic.
The Spa Set to Open in Cabo San Lucas
An upscale, themed spa is the newest addition to The Villa
Group’s private enclave of villa-style resorts in Cabo San Lucas.
Set to open in the summer, The Spa will join Villa La Estancia,
Villa del Arco and Villa del Palmar in an exclusive setting that
fronts El Medano Beach.
Currently in its final stage of construction, The Spa will be
the largest and most elaborate facility in the entire state of Baja
California and the Cabo San Lucas destination. Boasting a large
array of treatments and specialties, the three-level,
31,000-square-foot Spa promises to provide something for every type
of client visiting the resort location.
“We are pleased to make available this elegant new facility to
our guests at Villa La Estancia, Villa del Arco and Villa del
Palmar,” noted Ricardo Orozco, corporate director for The Villa
Group in Cabo San Lucas. “The Spa has been designed to offer the
ultimate experience through its tasteful design, upscale menu of
treatments, state-of-the-art services and tranquil atmosphere.”
The Villa Group’s Spa will feature both mountain and ocean
views. Designed in Mexican hacienda style, The Spa complements its
natural setting with earthy tones, ample natural light and the
scents and flavors of Baja. Amenities will include generous
hydrotherapy centers for men and women including a spacious
Jacuzzi, cold plunge pool, cold pressure showers, body temperature
pool, steam room, sauna and Swiss showers. In addition, 17
treatment rooms, two exclusive VIP suites with private Jacuzzi and
shower, a full-service beauty salon and extensive menu of exotic
treatment services will set the stage for The Spa to be a haven for
health, beauty, decompression and rejuvenation.
Within The Spa, a 4,500-square-foot fitness center will feature
seven treadmills, four elliptical bikes, three stationary bikes, 10
strength-training stations, a multi-purpose station, four
free-weight stations, a yoga/pilates studio with classes, lockers
Using a line of desert-inspired products created exclusively for
The Spa, therapists will wrap, bathe and pamper guests with
extracts of agave, lime, cactus, melon and vanilla. The Spa’s
natural body products have been specially developed for their
Trafalgar Celebrates 60th
To celebrate its 60th birthday, Trafalgar is throwing a party
and the prizes will go to travel agents. Agents can win up to
$30,000 in the Sensational Trafalgar Sweepstakes. Every deposited
booking made within one of three drawing periods provides a chance
Entries through Feb. 28 are eligible for a Grand Prize Drawing
Entries from March 1 through April 30 are eligible for a Grand
Prize Drawing of $20,000. And, entries from May 1 through June 30
are eligible for a Grand Prize Drawing of $30,000.
Entries will not be rolled over to the next drawing. Agents must
be awarded an entry in each drawing period to qualify for that
“The big advantage for agents is that this sweepstakes takes
place throughout the busy selling period,” says Trafalgar president
John Severini, CTC. “Since agents receive an entry for every
booking, they improve their chance of winning with every single
sale. Agents need to take advantage of the huge demand in travel
and convert sales to Trafalgar so that they can have multiple
chances to win big throughout our three drawing periods.”
Winners will be chosen in random drawings from all eligible
entries received during the drawing period. Prize winners will be
notified within 10 days of the drawing by USPS, e-mail or fax (at
Travel Institute Training Offer
The Travel Institute is aiming to help agents kick-start their
training in 2007. Agents will receive a $10 instant savings on
orders placed between now and March 31. In order to start saving,
visit TheTravelInstitute.com. Choose any product or course and
enter promo code TENOFF (exactly as written) at checkout. As an
added bonus, Travel Institute members, who log in to the bookstore
using their username (member ID number) and password will receive
their 10 percent member markdown in addition to the $10 off when
applying the promo code TENOFF at checkout.