TORONTO — The next few weeks and months will bring new challenges and changes for Frank DeMarinis and Nathalie Tanious – but as both tell Travelweek, they couldn’t be more proud, and ready for these next steps.
Last week HIS Japan on behalf of TravelBrands, Red Label Vacations, and Merit Travel, issued a statement announcing DeMarinis’ departure from the company, and Tanious’ promotion to CEO. The changes take effect July 21.
Following the announcement about the changing of the guard, Travelweek reached out to DeMarinis and Tanious for their personal feedback on the change at the top.
DeMarinis has been in the travel industry for more than 40 years. He and his brothers Joe and Enzo got into the business in 1983 with Bel Air Travel. In 2001 Bel Air was bought out and brought into the fold of what would later become Thomas Cook Canada. The DeMarinis brothers returned in 2004 with Redtag.ca. Their 2013 deal, when they acquired the North American segment of Thomas Cook Group plc, also included their very own Bel Air Travel / belairtravel.com, later folded into Redtag.ca. In 2016 Red Label added to its holdings with itravel2000.
TravelBrands parent company Red Label Vacations Inc. was acquired by HIS Japan in 2019. DeMarinis stayed on as TravelBrands President and CEO after the acquisition.
DeMarinis told Travelweek this week: “I am immensely proud of what we have been able to do, and that is to serve and empower Canadian travellers, opening doors for them to see the world. It has truly been a rewarding journey, and I am very grateful for the incredible memories and milestones. The time has come for me to write a new chapter, and I have full confidence in Nathalie’s vision and her ability to lead the future growth of our organization.”
Tanious, currently Chief Operating Officer, will take the reins with a wealth of experience, both at TravelBrands and other well-known companies in the industry. She got her start in sales at Tours Maison and from there went to Intair (Director of Product Development and Director, National Marketing), Thomas Cook (VP Cruise) and ACV (VP International and Cruise). She joined TravelBrands in 2014 as VP, working her way up to Senior VP Commercial and then COO.
Tanious says: “Frank has left an indelible mark on the Canadian travel industry, leaving a remarkable legacy. It is with great honour and privilege that I step into the role of CEO to build upon the strong foundation he has laid. I am committed to furthering this industry’s success and sharing the immense joy that travel brings to the lives of so many Canadians. Together, we will raise the bar of what can be achieved and position ourselves for an exciting future ahead.”
In its statement last week, HIS Japan gave its assurances that the change at the top will be a seamless transition, and said the company remains fully committed to providing its partners “with the exceptional service and support you have come to expect from us. The entire team at TravelBrands, Red Label Vacations, and Merit Travel stands united in our dedication to delivering outstanding travel experiences and forging strong partnerships with our valued stakeholders, partners and clients.”