Virgin Voyages unveils expanded international team

Virgin Voyages has doubled the size of its international team with a raft of promotions and appointments.

Speaking during a Travel Weekly webcast, sales vice-president Shane Lewis-Riley confirmed the line’s international team had increased from eight to 16 staff following the recent recruitment drive.

Princess Cruises sales manager – Europe, Matt Lebbern, Mark Lowman, Princess Cruises’ sales operations manager, and Beth Hulett, global supply manager at Iglu, have all been recruited.

Lebbern will head up the line’s European sales strategy while Lowman will oversee the Australia market for the line. Both are due to start at the end of February.

Hulett took up the role of sales manager earlier this month.

Sales manager Sarah-Jane Walker has been promoted to sales director, confirmed Lewis-Riley, who added that the entire trade sales team would report into Walker.

He went on to say that Walker’s promotion was “kudos for the incredible job she has done over the last few years”.

Gemma Major has moved from Virgin Atlantic to the line to become its head of international marketing, with the line now having dedicated UK consumer and trade marketing team for the first time.

“The marketing team will do trade and consumer marketing,” he explained. “The majority of their work right now is to trade.

“They help the trade to understand what the best avenues are to market Virgin Voyages, how to get the best return for any investments that they’re making, and the best messages to go out with.

“It’s a big step forward for us to have that team dedicated into the UK because they understand the market. The team understands what UK agents need and how we can tailor our messages accordingly to the UK audience.”

Former sales executive Kerry Buchanan has taken up the role of business development executive, working with agents in Scotland and the north-east of England.

Lewis-Riley said Chris Woodcock, who previously worked in the line’s onboard sales team, would lead the trade support team which Buchanan has left.

He added that Sarah Gilligan, who previously left the travel industry for pandemic-related relations, has returned to take up the role of support executive at Virgin Voyages.

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