MOONACHIE, NJ – To propel the expansion and integration goals of Central Holidays, the company announced changes in the organizational structure as well as steps to accelerate the growth and digital advancements of the business. In line with Central Holidays’ growth-focused strategy Philip Fontaine, who since March 2017 had been reorganizing the company’s Marketing has been promoted to the position of General Manager of Central Holidays. Fontaine will be responsible for leading the company in its expansion initiatives working closely with the company’s Board of Directors chaired by Baher Ghabbour, Chairman of Sakarra Group International, the parent company of Central Holidays. Any changes of this nature require an analysis and a transition for the company's leadership structure overall. As a result a few area managers and board members will be reassigned or will possibly leave Central Holidays as this transition period is completed. These changes include the earlier departure of Gianni Miradoli, who served as the CEO, post-acquisition of the company by SGI.
“In the last decade-and-a-half, the travel industry, Central Holidays, and its partners with it, have gone through momentous changes,” said Baher Ghabbour, Chairman of SGI. “Central Holidays is strong and continues proving itself over challenging times. We are now ready to take a step forward in our positive growth and evolution and to reorganize parts of our organization for near-term and long-term benefits. More than ever, we remain committed to providing superior travel products and services to our customers and partners.”
“Philip is assuming what is a new role in our organization," continued Ghabbour. “He shares our vision of consolidating our brand strength in the marketplace, while maintaining a strong emphasis on destination expertise. Even further, he recognizes the importance of creating a positive experience for our partners and delivering what today's travelers are seeking in their vacations and travel experiences. Together with our Board of Directors, Philip will continue to build Central Holidays to reach the company’s objectives and advance our offerings to the next level.”
Over the past few years, Central Holidays has completed the integration of its operations with its parent company SGI, a travel group backed by substantial assets and investment that provides the company with a unique competitive advantage in the marketplace. SGI is investing in added financial and human resources to achieve the ambitious objectives set for Central Holidays in the coming years. It is with renewed vigor that the whole team at Central Holidays is now busy preparing more winning programs and strategies focused on: the creation of even greater travel programs with a focus on personalization - all ultimately aimed at delivering better products and service to our clients, travel agents, and industry partners - and the launch of digital enhancements using best-in-class technologies, improved business processes and overall client service.
“I am thrilled about this opportunity,” said Fontaine. “Central Holidays is strengthening its position at the forefront of the industry. I look forward to growing our partner relationships at Central Holidays, and to increasing our market position so as to make Central Holidays the number one choice for authentically rich, experiential, and inspired customized travel opportunities throughout Italy, the Mediterranean, Cuba and Latin America."
Originally from Brussels, Fontaine knows the Central Holidays house, having served in a consultancy role with them, back in 2004. Fontaine’s international career includes success serving in consultative, management, and executive roles for acclaimed travel and leisure companies including Cendant (now Wyndham), TUI Travel (now Travelopia) and MarineMax. Fontaine holds a Master of Business Degree from IESE in Barcelona, Spain, and speaks 6 languages fluently. An early hire at eBay, he is also well versed in newer business models & technologies. Fontaine is based outside of New York City, at the Central Holidays headquarters in Moonachie, New Jersey.