New President for Classic Vacations
Classic Vacations recently named Tim MacDonald as its president.
MacDonald most recently held the position of vice president for
Prior to joining Hotwire.com in 2002, MacDonald led
executive-level consulting role engagements at Booz-Allen &
Hamilton, Inc. for industry leaders, including Carlson Wagonlit and
the Travel Industry Association of America. He also spent four
years leading business development for CBI Industries, Inc.
MacDonald holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at
“Classic built its reputation for excellence by delivering great
products and services to the agency community,” said MacDonald. “I
expect to continue that legacy and look forward to working with the
many travel agencies that have helped Classic become so
MacDonald replaces Gregg Brockway, who resigned late last year.
Ron Letterman, who was Classic’s chairman at that time, was asked
to run the company while it searched for a new president. Letterman
will return to his role as vice chairman and serve as a senior
advisor to the company. The Classic executive team will remain and
continue in their current roles.
“We looked long and hard to find the right person to lead
Classic. There were many excellent candidates, but Tim’s unique
skills stood out,” said Letterman. “He is a solid manager with
great strategic and people skills. I am confident that Classic is
in good hands.”
Disney World to Ban Smoking
Disney World Resort plans to
implement a smoking ban at two dozen Disney-owned hotels and
timeshare properties, including all balconies and patios, effective
June 1. Following the ban, smoking will be allowed in designated,
outdoor spaces only.
By putting out cigarettes, pipes and cigars for good, Disney
said it becomes the largest “single-site” resort complex to ban
smoking. Disney instituted a similar policy last year at its
Disneyland hotels in California. Walt Disney World’s theme and
water parks previously banned smoking except for in designated
areas in 2000.
Disney World said the move was prompted by customer demand, as
the number of guests requesting non-smoking rooms has risen
dramatically during the last five years. Currently, fewer than 4
percent of Walt Disney World’s 24,000 rooms are smoking-optional.
The new policy will also be implemented at Disney’s Hilton Head
Island (S.C.) Resort and at Disney’s Vero Beach (Fla.) Resort, both
Disney Vacation Club timeshare properties.
Disney said customers who light up in non-smoking areas will be
hit with a “deep-cleaning fee” ranging from $250 to $500, depending
on the size of their room.
Disney spokesman Jacob DiPietre said Disney would attempt to
rebook smokers with existing reservations who object to the new
policy at another on-site property not owned by Disney.
Founder of El Cid Resorts Dies
Julio Berdegue, founder of El Cid Resorts and president of the
Association of Hotels and Tourist Businesses, died of heart failure
April 21. He was 76 years old.
Born April 14, 1931, Berdegue came from Madrid with his family
at the age of 9 and later became a leader for Mexican Tourism and a
visionary for Mazatlan as a destination. Beginning with the Hotel
Granada in 1972, he has led the growth of the city’s largest resort
collection, El Cid Resorts, which has 3,000 employees.
Among his many accomplishments, he was national president of the
Association of Mexican Businesses and the Commercial Board in
Berdegue is survived by his wife, Dolores, and their four sons,
Julio, Fernando, Carlos and Mariano. Lucia Chung
SYTA Conference Coming soon
The Student and Youth Travel Association (SYTA) is accepting
registrations for its 11th Annual SYTA Conference, Sept. 7-11, in
Whistler, British Columbia. This year’s theme, Reach for the Peak,
looks at expanding opportunities in the student travel market and
presents educational seminars, keynote speakers and networking
The conference, hosted by Tourism Whistler, will be held at the
Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Registration for active members (tour
operator/travel agent) is $250. Registration for associate members
(suppliers) is $725 from May 12-June 29. Online registrations
receive a $25 discount.
SFCVB markets to Gay/Lesbian Travelers
This month, the San Francisco
Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB) will launch its first
national advertising campaign for gay and lesbian travelers. The
full-color print campaign showcases the diverse activities gay and
lesbian visitors can enjoy while in the city. In addition, the
SFCVB recently launched a “Gay Travel” micro-site trip planning
portal (OnlyInSanFrancisco.com/gaytravel) designed to become the
LGBT community’s one-stop shop for planning their San Francisco
Twenty-six SFCVB member companies have signed on as program
sponsors, including Kimpton Hotels, Hotel Nikko, Renoir Hotel, Le
Meridien, Parc Fifty Five Hotel, Heritage House, Amtrak and
Agents in the Driver’s Seat
For the third year in a row, Funjet Vacations is giving away a new
car and other prizes for Las Vegas bookings made from May 1-Oct.
31, for travel until Dec. 31.
Agents earn points based on revenue generated by booking Las
Vegas air/hotel packages, car rentals, tours and other features via
Top-performing agents will receive a trip to Las Vegas Dec.
10-12, which will include roundtrip airfare, accommodations and an
appreciation dinner where the car will be awarded.
Bonus points will be available throughout the promotion; all
bookings via Funjet Vacations May 14-31, with travel May 14-Dec.
19, will receive a complimentary upgrade to midsize car from