Silversea Cruises UK managing director Lisa McAuley has been appointed to the top trade role at Gold Medal and Travel2 parent dnata Travel.
The appointment of a new managing director for B2B Europe tour operations completes the management line-up at dnata Travel which lost five senior executives to rival operator If Only in June including managing director Andy Freeth.
McAuley, who prior to her time at Silversea rose to prominence in various partnership roles at Avis, will report into John Bevan, who was named new chief executive dnata Travel B2B last week.
Overseeing the marketing, trade sales, and product and commercial teams, she will be primarily based in Gold Medal’s Preston office but divide her time between there and Travel 2’s Glasgow base. She is due to start in January.
McAuley will work closely with new sales director Nick Hughes, whose switch from Attraction World, where he has been sales and marketing director since 2016, was also announced last week.
Iain Andrew, divisional senior vice president, dnata Travel, said: “I am thrilled to appoint Lisa to this key role within our business.
“Her leadership experience will be invaluable in driving our business from strength to strength to deliver even more for our agent partners. I look forward to supporting her and her team in the new year.”
Prior to working for Avis Budget Group, McAuley also held positions at Lunn Poly, Shearings and Skibound.
A high-profile travel executive, she has been a member of the Association of Women Travel Executives for five years and was recently inducted into the Influential Women In Travel, Tourism and Hospitality list by the organisation.
In June, Emirates Group-owned dnata Travel was rocked by the resignations of Freeth, sales and marketing director Gordon McCreadie, product and commercial director Matt Appleby, head of sales Tracy Hirsz and business manager for Travel 2 David Irving.
They were all due to join Glasgow-based operator If Only this year but their start dates have been delayed following legal action initiated by dnata Travel.
A spokesman from Silversea said McAuley would be leaving the company towards the end of 2017.
He added: “Since joining Silversea in 2015, Lisa has overseen the development and launch of our newest ship, Silver Muse, in the UK market and created and maintained a strong relationship with UK trade agents. A search is currently in place and we look forward to announce the new managing director of UK and Ireland. We wish her well and would like to thank her for her dedicated service to the cruising industry since joining us.”
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