Thomson, Britain’s largest tour operator, has lured 33-year old travel
public relations expert Russell Amerasekera away from rival Going
Places, after just five months as head of communications.
Amerasekera, who joined Going Places from Thomas Cook last November,
will again jump ship to Thomson in June to take up a post heading a
newly-formed communications department.
Thomson’s press office, now run by media relations manager Gloria Ward
from the marketing department, will merge with internal communications
which is currently part of human resources.
In the new division Ward will report to Amerasekera who in turn will
answer to the group’s marketing director Richard Bowden-Doyle.
The post of communications director at Thomson, which boasts a 20 per
cent market share of the package holidays market (Mintel), was last held
by Claire Wilson.
She moved across to become Thomson’s first relationship marketing
director last month.
Bowden-Doyle said that Amerasekera’s role would be to introduce
consistency into the company’s communications. ‘We need to sew a common
thread through the business,’ he said.
Commenting on his latest move, Amerasekera said; ‘I was at Going Places
a short time but it was a very attractive offer. Thomson is a very high
profile company and the market leader.’
‘Travel companies are increasingly having to look for ways to
differentiate themselves and get staff to buy into what they are
achieving,’ he added.
Going Places, which is part of the Airtours Group, is yet to find a
suitable candidate to fill
Amerasekera’s shoes. His former employer Thomas Cook is also still
searching 0for a replacement.