Virtuoso has this week confirmed the addition of three new executives who will support the network’s international growth strategy, while also furthering its longstanding commitment to sustainable tourism.
General Manager, Latin America and the Caribbean with Virtuoso for the past two years, Javier Arredondo, has been named as Vice President, Sustainability.
Arredondo’s new role aims to advance Virtuoso’s mission to make sustainability a greater factor in consumer choice when planning travel, so that those doing great things in sustainability are also rewarded with commercial success. Serving Virtuoso’s sustainability community, including Virtuoso members and partners and its Sustainability Council, Arredondo will be collaborating with Virtuoso’s senior leadership, including Virtuoso Vice-Chair and Sustainability Strategist Jessica Hall Upchurch, and internal teams to develop and implement programs and services specifically addressing sustainability.
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“Virtuoso has been an active champion for sustainable travel for well over a decade and we are deepening our commitment by placing Javier in this important role,” said Hall Upchurch.
“Together, we will focus on strengthening our leadership position and broadening our mission by leveraging Virtuoso’s sphere of influence, both within the travel and tourism industry and with high-net-worth travellers, to further amplify and accelerate Virtuoso’s sustainability efforts,” she said.
Prior to joining Virtuoso in 2021, Arredondo spent 20 years as the founder and CEO of Travesias Media, where he served as Virtuoso’s Latin America publishing partner for many years. Arredondo will continue to work from Virtuoso’s Mexico City office and report to Hall Upchurch and Brad Bourland, Chief Operating Officer.
Additionally, Virtuoso has named two new seasoned executives to regional General Manager senior leadership positions. The new GM roles were exclusively foreshadowed by LATTE last year.
Maria Bea Sajon was named General Manager, Latin America & The Caribbean, effective 6 February 2023, and Hanna Hinz joins the organisation in a newly created role as General Manager, Continental Europe as of 20 February.
In addition to the existing network of regional general managers, both new executives will be responsible for driving Virtuoso’s development in their respective markets. Each will lead local teams focussed on delivering the value of the network to the group’s travel agency members and partners, while also elevating Virtuoso’s brand equity to its target market of high-net-worth travellers.
Sajon’s appointment continues Virtuoso’s more than 20-year presence within Latin America, where it has more than 100 travel agency member locations spanning 19 countries. She will leverage her extensive experience in the Latin markets to manage teams in Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and Mexico City, where she will be based.
Hinz’s appointment signals the creation of a Continental Europe region within what was formerly the network’s EMEA division. Hinz, who has an extensive luxury travel background within Europe, will now focus on the creation of a distinct business focus that is separate from the United Kingdom, Middle East and Africa. With previous experience at both a Virtuoso travel agency and preferred hotel, Hinz is well placed to ensure the Virtuoso value proposition increases for the network’s agency members and partners across the many European markets. She will be based in Berlin, Germany.
Karen Joyce continues with the organisation as General Manager for the United Kingdom and Ireland, allowing for greater focus and increased responsiveness to each of these important markets.
As part of Virtuoso’s global team, both Sajon and Hinz will report to Michael Londregan, Senior Vice President of Global Operations.
“The strategic requirement to maintain Virtuoso’s global positioning and create value that resonates through local relevance can only be achieved through quality market leadership, and we are delighted to continue investing significantly in our core regions,” said Londregan. “These new appointments will bring Virtuoso the insights on
each market that ensure we understand and respond to the incredible opportunity we are seeing emerge in the luxury leisure travel sector.”