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Dallas named to replace Hanbury as BTA CEO

Kevin Dallas has been appointed to the position of Bermuda Tourism Authority chief executive officer

The Bermuda Tourism Authority has appointed Bermudian Kevin Dallas as its chief executive officer.

Mr Dallas, 38, is due to take over the post in January 2017 on the completion of Bill Hanbury’s contract on December 31.

BTA chairman David Dodwell said: “Kevin is a proud Bermudian who distinguished himself from a talented slate of candidates. His unique combination of global credentials and experience encompasses market development work for South African Tourism, as well as consultancy and executive roles in product and marketing within the digital domain.”

The board, in making its selection, was keen to “move beyond traditional marketing” in order to keep Bermuda ahead of the curve given the evolving global tourism marketplace.

Mr Dodwell added: “In the new digital tourism game, the BTA needs to know how digital platforms like Airbnb, Expedia and Google really work, so we can play to win.

“Kevin Dallas is a proven leader in cutting edge digital marketing and strategy at an innovative global technology company where he learnt the inner workings of the online travel industry. We are thrilled that he is bringing this expertise to the BTA.”

Mr Dallas manages a multimillion-dollar annual budget and leads a global team of approximately 100, with ten direct reports.

The recruitment process began in June 2016, the chair including extensive stakeholder consultation in the hospitality industry helping to establish “key indicators of expertise and to identify the modern skill set required for the post”.

Philip Barnett, the chairman of the BTA selection committee, “We were elated with the shortlisted candidates, all of whom were Bermudian and all of whom were exceptionally talented.

“We are confident that with our new appointment, the BTA will continue to grow and move forward.”

Mr Dallas will be introduced at the upcoming Tourism Summit on November 16. Mr Hanbury said of the appointment: “I’m delighted that Kevin has been selected to lead the BTA into its next period of growth.

“It has always been my wish that a Bermudian would follow me as the next CEO. I look forward to working with Kevin over the next couple of months to ensure we have a smooth transition.”

He added: “In this way, the BTA won’t skip a beat as it continues to drive forward tourism’s economic recovery.”

Speaking on his own appointment, Mr Dallas added: “I’m thrilled to return home to Bermuda for this opportunity. Having lived and worked not only in Bermuda’s core Boston, New York and London markets, but also across Europe, Asia and Africa, I can say that Bermuda has a unique and special place in the world. I look forward to using my experience as a traveller, tourist and global executive and my passion for our island, to deliver the next chapter for Bermuda’s tourism product.”

The BTA committee took on Bermudian human resource consulting firm Performance Solutions Limited to structure “a fair, rigorous recruitment process to attract and vet a wide slate of candidates”.

The BTA said that Mr Dallas will receive a similar compensation package to his predecessor, recorded publically last year as $295,000 per year along with a $75,000 annual housing allowance.

Senator Michael Fahy, the Minister of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities, congratulated the BTA board for its work in recruiting Bermudian executive talent.

He said: “Following an aggressive recruitment campaign for the next CEO, I am pleased to announce the selection of Bermudian Kevin Dallas to accept the baton from current CEO Bill Hanbury and lead the team through the next heat of the competition for global visitors.

“I would like to commend the board of the BTA, and the selection process which has been demonstrated to have been robust, effective and geared to the needs of an evolving global tourism industry.

“Over the past ten years, the inner workings of the global travel industry have changed completely. Travellers now dream, search and book online, and a huge portion of bookings are made through online travel agents like Expedia, rather than traditional travel agents. Successful destinations drive tourism demand using digital marketing, analytics, and partnerships with airlines and digital platforms like Google, TripAdvisor, Uber, Airbnb, Facebook and Expedia.

“The BTA has successfully brought Bermuda into this new era, and our recent air arrival results show that it is working. In order to stay ahead of this curve, we need leadership who are fluent in the new digital travel marketplace, and that’s what we have found in Kevin, the next CEO of the BTA.

“Destinations that continue to market themselves in traditional ways will fall behind, but Bermuda intends to stay ahead of this curve and lead, transforming and enmeshing our traditional product for success in this modern environment.

“We congratulate Kevin Dallas who has proven to be a results-oriented executive, and we look forward to leveraging his substantive body of experience and industry insights to grow the market for a new generation of travellers for the benefit of Bermuda.”

UPDATED: Includes sidebar about nomination for an award

<p>Shortlisted for LGBT award in UK</p>

Bermudian Kevin Dallas was nominated as an inspirational role model at this year’s British LGBT Awards.

Mr Dallas featured in a shortlist of eight people in one of the corporate award categories, losing out on the top prize to flight lieutenant Ayla Holdom, a transgender military pilot. Mr Dallas describes himself on Twitter — where he posts as @KevinRecommends — as a “sociable, opinionated, tech nerd” who is “proudly from Bermuda”. The former Saltus Grammar School student, who received the Sir Harry D Butterfield undergraduate scholarship in 1997 when he was pursuing his bachelor’s degree in political science and economics at Brown University, was chief product and marketing officer at Worldpay, a payment processing company which was the FTSE 100 at the time of the nomination. He is the founder and executive sponsor of GLOW, Worldpay’s LGBT network, with more than 200 members and straight allies. ?Before Worldpay, Mr Dallas was a partner at Bain & Company, where he led Bain’s EMEA LGBT employee network, BGLAD. Mr Dallas speaks on diversity at events like EurOUT and Reaching Out MBA and was a founding board member of Out for Undergrad.

Award winners were announced at a ceremony at London’s Grand Connaught Rooms on May 13.