A&K Travel Group Strengthens Global Commitment to Travel Trade
Crystal’s successful relaunch and new leadership appointments boost A&K Travel Group Synergies and furthers the ‘One A&K’ Vision
October 10, 2023
A&K Travel Group (AKTG), the parent company of luxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent and cruise line Crystal, today announced several new hires and promotions within its trade sales teams. In line with A&K Travel Group's One A&K strategy to foster collaboration and synergy across its prestigious travel brands, A&K and Crystal are engaging and recruiting the top talent in the industry with the aim of providing enhanced support for travel partners.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time at A&K Travel Group,” said Marett Taylor, Chief Sales Officer. “With strong forward bookings and a record year of 2023 sales, the successful relaunch of Crystal, and an amazing group of new sales leaders, we are poised for great success. We remain dedicated to our travel advisor community and equipping our sales teams to deliver the highest level of service. We have robust plans to expand educational opportunities, invest in sales and marketing resources, and offer other initiatives to help our trade partners grow their businesses.”
A&K’s relationship with the trade has spanned more than 60 years and encompasses the largest network of luxury Destination Management Companies (DMCs) across the world, covering each continent, including 13 camps and lodges in Africa and four riverboats in Egypt. The Group have previously announced ambitious expansion plans for their DMCs and owned products with recent acquisitions, including Ecoventura in the Galapagos with plans for expansion across the world.
Through the appointment of talented new leaders and other internal promotions, A&K and Crystal aim to increase the synergies of these award-winning brands through their trade partners.
New Sales Leaders Appointed for Crystal and A&K
In A&K’s London office, Jennifer Charlton joins as SVP, Trade Sales & Business Development, UK and EMEA for Abercrombie & Kent. She brings extensive industry experience, joining from Amex GBT where she led the supplier partnership teams in EMEA and APAC, the global digital media team, M&E global supplier strategy and worked with the M&A team on acquisition and integration projects. She was voted one of the Top 40 Women in Travel in the UK by WINiT.
In Crystal’s Aventura office, Glen Rothe joins as, VP, Trade Sales, Crystal. He will be responsible for managing trade relationships and sales for Crystal. He brings 30 years of experience in the travel industry and extensive cruise industry experience from Norwegian Cruise Line where he was responsible for $1 billion in revenue and led successful sales teams for more than a decade. Rothe will be recruiting four new sales directors for North America and multiple inside account executive roles to enhance Crystal’s support for the U.S. and Canada trade partners. Jacqueline Leyva has also joined Crystal as VP, Trade Reservations, Air, & Turnaround Operations in the Aventura office, providing reservations leadership support for both North America and LATAM trade partners. She also brings 30 years of industry experience, having worked for companies such as SeaDream Yacht Club, Cunard, and Atlas Ocean Voyages. Sharla Smith has joined as Crystal's Regional Sales Director, Central USA bringing more than 20 years of experience and strong performance in the cruise industry from past sales roles at Scenic, Paul Gauguin and Royal Caribbean. In Latin America, the strong team that previously represented A&K DMCs and properties have been promoted to expanded roles, adding Crystal to their sales portfolio to support growth with the trade for A&K and Crystal.
Several team members have also earned promotions, including:
- Shawn Johnson, SVP Sales, North America, A&K
- Jay Warren, VP Sales, North America, A&K, A&K DMCs and Sanctuary Retreats
- Oscar Dunn, VP Cruise Sales, A&K and Crystal
- Kim Guimaraes, VP, National Accounts, A&K and Crystal
- Stephen Loughlin, National Accounts Business Specialist, A&K and Crystal
- Rob Cifuentes, Director of Sales, LATAM, A&K and Crystal
- Natalia Pessoa, Director of Sales, Brazil & Argentina, A&K and Crystal
- Greice Penteado, GP Marketing, General Sales & Marketing Agent, Brazil, A&K and Crystal
In APAC, the team will continue to be led by industry veteran, Debra Fox, EVP of Trade Sales Asia Pacific, supported by Tony Archbold as VP of Sales. A new Director of Sales – Asia Pacific is being recruited and will be announced in due course, with additional trade support positions added already.
Taylor added, "Our outstanding sales leaders have the knowledge, experience and passion to take A&K Travel Group to new heights. I look forward to working closely with them to recruit additional talent to drive success, deliver exceptional travel experiences and strengthen partnerships throughout our travel advisor community."
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