On the scene at Leadership Forum
An onstage focus group exploring the future of travel agents was held with four members of ASTA’s Young Professionals Society — from left, Mar Jo Salas, Alamo Travel; Evan McElligott, Longer Vacations; Angelica Stan, Romanian Connections; and Ryan McGredy, Moraga Travel — and was moder- ated by Travel Weekly Editor in Chief Arnie Weissmann.
From left, Federico Moreno-Nickerson, director of Caribbean and Mexico prod- uct development for Classic Vacations; Arnie Weissmann, Travel Weekly editor in chief; and Elyse Elkin, vice president of product for Travel Impressions, discussed the evolution of packaged tour distribution in the U.S. and where things might be heading.
Gerardo Llanes, chief marketing
officer of the Mexico Tourism Board,
shared details about Mexico’s recent
marketing and advertising campaigns, used statistics to plot the
country’s recovery and gave a sneak
peek of what the tourist board has
planned going forward.
Vic Kerckhoff, director of lei- sure sales for United Airlines, talked about changes resulting from the “new” United after its merger with Continental and gave a status report on its Mexico routes.
Jack Richards, president and CEO of Pleasant Holidays; Tim Mullen, co-president of Apple Vacations; Arnie
Weissmann, editor in chief of Travel Weekly; and John Caldwell, president of MLT Vacations, participated
in a President’s Panel and discussed a wide range of issues affecting Mexico’s tourism, from airlift to
which geographic and product niches are seeing the strongest recovery. Each of the tour executives said
they are seeing a reversal in the decline of business to Mexico that characterized 2011.
PHO TOS B Y DENNISE GONZALEZ