Travel promo corp. to get match funds

Three days into the government's fiscal year, the Corporation for Travel Promotion said it qualified for $22.2 million in matching federal funds to launch an international travel marketing campaign promoting the U.S. The 2:1 federal match is based on industry commitments for $4.1 million in cash and $7 million in in-kind contributions of goods and services. A total of $100 million in federal funds is available this year.

Paul Gauguin brand gets a second ship
Paul Gauguin Cruises is no longer a one-ship line, having acquired Compagnie du Ponant's 90-passenger Le Levant for an undisclosed price. Following a renovation next fall, the vessel will be renamed the Moana and enter service in December 2012 in the Caribbean and Latin America, moving to the Med in summer. The 332-passenger Paul Gauguin, which operates in the South Pacific, is slated for a $7 million renovation in early January.

New York, Seoul are promo partners
NYC & Company, New York's tourism-marketing arm, formed a one-year partnership with the Seoul Metropolitan Government for a reciprocal, multimedia marketing effort, including a swap of outdoor media and online assets. For example, posters promoting New York will appear in Seoul's financial, shopping and entertainment districts, while ads promoting the South Korean capital will pop up on the Clear Channel Spectacular screen in Times Square and elsewhere in New York. The cites also partnered with Korean Air to offer New York-Seoul roundtrips from $1,295 through Oct. 28 for travel by March 31.

Mega-agency buys Georgia retailer
Corporate travel giant Travel and Transport of Omaha, Neb., acquired Sprayberry Travel, a single-location Travel Leaders agency in Marietta, Ga., that will assume the Travel and Transport name. Sprayberry President Dorrie Green becomes director of operations for Travel and Transport, a Radius member that is seeking to expand in the Southeast. Employee-owned Travel and Transport ranks 14th on Travel Weekly's Power List, with gross sales of $1.15 billion in 2010.

Los Angeles Westin shows off face-lift
The Westin Bonaventure, Los Angeles' largest hotel at 1,354 rooms and suites, completed the most extensive renovation in its 35-year history and is staging a grand opening event on Oct. 26. A monthlong "open house" in October includes regular tours on Wednesday afternoons to showcase numerous upgrades and "refreshed designs" in guestrooms and public areas. The downtown landmark, with its cylindrical glass towers, is a favorite backdrop for movie directors.

St. Regis rebrands Florence landmark
After a 10-month renovation, Starwood reopened and rebranded the Grand Hotel in Florence as the St. Regis Florence, with 81 rooms and 19 suites. The hotel, previously operated as part of Starwood's Luxury Collection, is situated in the centrally located Piazza Ognissanti and occupies a 15th century building designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, the renowned architect of the Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, whose dome dominates the skyline of Florence.

Friends & Colleagues

InterContinental Hotels Group tapped former Marriott International executive Joel Eisemann to be its new senior vice president and chief development officer for the Americas region. Eisemann will replace Jim Anhut, who will be IHG's senior vice president of brand management for the Americas region. • • • Travel Leaders Group promoted Pam Young to vice president of industry relations. Currently the director of supplier relations for Travel Leaders Franchise Group, Young's new role will give her responsibility for fostering relationships with a wide range of tour companies and wholesalers for all brands within Travel Leaders Group. Young joined Travel Leaders in 1998, when it was Carlson Leisure Group. Before that, she spent eight years as a district sales manager for Royal Caribbean International. • • • Marriott International named Alex Kyriakidis to head its Middle East and Africa division as president and managing director, effective Jan. 1. Kyriakidis, currently Deloitte's global managing director for tourism, hospitality and leisure, will be based in Dubai. • • • Julie Bradley has been named to the newly created position of CFO at TripAdvisor. She previously served as senior vice president and CFO of the Art Technology Group, an Internet technology firm.

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