After 15+ years with world travel holdings, Fernandez steps into new role; focus will be accelerating brand awareness and driving marketing strategy for thriving Montreal-based brand.
ORLANDO, FLA. – Rental Escapes, a full-service luxury villa company specializing in providing unparalleled private villa rentals worldwide, announced the appointment of Willie Fernandez as chief marketing officer. Effective immediately, Fernandez is responsible for driving Rental Escapes’ global brand strategy and marketing initiatives, as well as overseeing the product teams who liaise with the company’s network of valued travel advisor partners and villa suppliers.
“At Rental Escapes, we are committed to providing personalized service to our guests and our travel advisor partners, leading to unforgettable vacation experiences. We are laser-focused on accelerating our brand awareness in the year ahead and communicating our breadth of offerings to ensure we maintain a thoughtful growth trajectory, and we are thrilled to have someone of Willie’s caliber and background onboard to help lead the charge,” said Brian Schwimmer, chief executive officer and co-founder of Rental Escapes. “Willie will be instrumental in directing our brand strategy and expanding our footprint across the globe.”
Regarded as one of the most innovative marketing experts in the travel industry, Fernandez brings more than three decades of brand development and marketing operations experience to Rental Escapes. He entered the travel industry managing the inside sales department at Norwegian Cruise Line before founding his own cruise agency. He later joined the foremost technological leader in the cruise distribution software industry, CruisePath Network, where he developed the company’s two core products and pioneered their D2C online booking technology for cruise travel.
Later, Fernandez joined Travel Leader Groups as the vice president of cruise and e-commerce, launching the company's first e-commerce site and growing sales by more than $50 million in three years. Most recently, Fernandez served as World Travel Holdings’ vice president and general manager, where he helped shape the strategic vision of their luxury villa rental division, Villas of Distinction. A highlight of his initiatives there included the launch of the #WithYouToStay campaign, which was devoted to providing enhanced support to travel advisor partners amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since 1991, I have had the privilege to work in an industry that I am so passionate about, and that really is a blessing,” said Fernandez. “I am thrilled to join Rental Escapes’ team and could not imagine a better place to take this next step in my career, as the company stands poised for outstanding growth in the years ahead. I look forward to making an impact on the Rental Escapes brand, elevating our awareness and providing our travel partners, and customers, with unbeatable travel experiences and benefits around the world.”
Since launching in 2012, Rental Escapes has been committed to providing guests with unparalleled travel experiences throughout the world. With a selection of more than 4,500 private rentals in 65 destinations and a portfolio of industry-leading personal concierge services, Rental Escapes pays great attention to detail to deliver top-tier travel experiences that are tailored to each guest’s dreams.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.