Virtuoso has promoted seasoned executive Melissa Araya as Vice President, Cruise. Araya rejoined the luxury travel network last November and has been instrumental in leading Virtuoso’s cruise division.
In her expanded role, Araya will be tapping into her extensive history with international markets to help further Virtuoso’s strategic growth in its global markets, while utilising her relationships and customer-centric focus to deliver deeper engagement with its travel agency members, travel advisors and preferred partners.
Since rejoining Virtuoso, Araya has leveraged her vast industry experience to implement the annual sales strategy and budgets, and oversees member production to ensure annual sales goals are met. She has successfully supported the negotiation of multiple agreements around member commissions, while also conducting ongoing reviews of cruise revenue forecasts and collaborating with Virtuoso’s regional general managers to activate global partnerships.
“We’re happy to see Melissa stepping into this expanded role, where she can showcase her experience with elevating and cementing strategic relationships,” said Brad Bourland, Virtuoso Chief Operating Officer.
“Travel, and cruising in particular, is poised for a strong return and Melissa and her team will play an integral role in ensuring we continue to provide value to our cruise partners by growing our business with them.”
Prior to her return to Virtuoso, Araya held senior-level positions with Crystal Cruises, where she was Director of Strategic Partnerships (national and key accounts) until her promotion to Vice President of Sales and Marketing for international. She also held positions with Silversea Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Araya began her career at American Express, where she spent 18 years in executive roles in New York, Mexico City and in the Miami/Latin America region.
Araya will now report to Bourland and will continue working remotely from her home office in Naples, Florida.
In the coming days, several hundred Virtuoso members from around the world will meet in Lisbon, Portugal for the Virtuoso Symposium event, being held aboard Silversea Cruises’ new ship, Silver Dawn.