River cruise pioneer Pandaw is strengthening its senior management team, appointing one of Europe’s most experienced travel industry executives as Vice President Sales and Marketing.
Marco Rosa, who has held senior positions with global luxury travel leaders Orient Express and Abercrombie & Kent has been appointed to lead Pandaw’s sales drive as it prepares to add new routes and new products in its Southeast Asia heartland and beyond.
Marco brings to Pandaw a wealth of corporate experience at the high end of the experiential travel market, as well as an extensive worldwide network of trade and contacts. He stressed that his priority was to consolidate and grow Pandaw’s excellent relationships with agents across several continents.
He said: “I’m delighted to be joining Pandaw at this pivotal moment in the company’s development. This is a company with an amazing history of offering its passengers a unique experience, not just the traditional design of the locally-built ships, but the quality of the people, the service and the interaction between the company and the local communities. The loyalty it inspires in its customers is unique in the travel trade.”
“River cruising as a worldwide industry sector is showing phenomenal growth at the moment worldwide, and the passenger profile is changing fast. Pandaw is benefitting as it offers the kind of luxury that people are increasingly looking for. It’s about routes through beautiful country combined with unforgettable experiences in remote and off-the-beaten-track itineraries. We have a fantastic story to tell as we go to new destinations where our competitors can’t follow, whether it’s in southern China or northern Burma or the Borneo jungle.”
“Pandaw’s flexibility and adaptability mean that it is easy for us to respond to market demand, and the fact that its cruises operate in safe environments is increasingly a positive for us.”
Pandaw, which celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2015, currently runs a fleet of 16 specially-designed ships on 18 international routes in Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Thailand and Borneo. The company is currently launching its first marine expedition, the Ranong to Rangoon cruise along Burma’s fabled Mergui Archipelago and the Andaman Sea coast.
With a career stretching back over 20 years, Marco Rosa has worked in senior roles for some of the biggest names in the experiential luxury travel market, including as worldwide sales and marketing for Orient-Express Trains & Cruises and Abercromby & Kent, where he headed the hospitality division under the Sanctuary Retreats brand.
Paul Strachan, Pandaw’s founder said: “It’s a great coup for Pandaw to have someone of Marco’s professional calibre, experience and creative flair joining our top team.”
“The river expedition market is becoming more competitive than ever, and Pandaw is all about innovating to stay ahead of the pack. It’s important that our internal systems are finely tuned as they possibly can be, and that we get our message out to trade and consumer markets. Marco has the top-level experience and the fresh ideas to help us achieve those goals.”