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Melissa Araya moves up to VP cruise at Virtuoso

Expanded role for Melissa Araya
Virtuoso promoted Melissa Araya from senior director to VP cruise.

In her expanded role, she will be tapping into her extensive history with international markets to help further Virtuoso’s strategic growth in its global markets, while using her relationships and customer-centric focus to deliver deeper engagement with travel agency members, travel advisors and preferred partners.

Araya rejoined the organization in November and became instrumental in leading Virtuoso’s cruise division. She leveraged her vast industry experience to implement the annual sales strategy and budgets, and oversees member production to ensure annual sales goals are met. She has supported the negotiation of multiple agreements around member commissions, while also conducting ongoing reviews of cruise revenue forecasts and collaborating with Virtuoso’s regional general managers to activate global partnerships. 

Elevating and cementing strategic relationships

'We’re happy to see Melissa stepping into this expanded role, where she can showcase her experience with elevating and cementing strategic relationships,' Virtuoso Chief Operating Officer Brad Bourland said. 'Travel, and cruising in particular, is poised for a strong return and Melissa and her team will play an integral role in ensuring we continue to provide value to our cruise partners by growing our business with them.'

Araya now reports to Bourland and will continue working remotely from her home office in Naples, Florida.

Before returning to Virtuoso, Araya held senior positions at Crystal Cruises, where she was director of strategic partnerships (national and key accounts) until her promotion to VP sales and marketing - international. She also held positions with Silversea Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Araya began her career at American Express, where she spent 18 years in executive roles in New York, Mexico City and in the Miami/Latin America region.