The Travel Corporation Executives, Richard Launder and Kirsten Bain
Cypress, CA –March 1, 2023 – The Travel Corporation (TTC) announces the retirement of Destination America (DA) President & CEO, Richard Launder effective February 24th. During the past 40 years, he has worked in various and notable roles within the award-winning family-owned and run organization. Former Vice President of Contiki Operations USA, Kirsten Bain takes the helm as DA’s new Chief Executive Officer. Over her 18-year TTC tenure, she has excelled in a variety of senior operations and contracting roles in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Destination America has been a consistent innovator in guided vacations since its inception in 1990 and known for immersive travel experiences that bring destinations to life.
“On behalf of The Travel Corporation, we would like to sincerely thank Richard for his outstanding leadership and contributions during his 40-year career and wish him the very best in his future endeavors,’ says Brett Tollman, Chairman of The Travel Corporation. “We would also like to congratulate Kirsten Bain with her new role as Destination America’s CEO and wish her much success. We are committed to continually promote our various dedicated team members as they develop exceptional cross functional skills throughout their careers, within our dynamic global organization,” he added.
Richard began his extensive TTC career with Contiki as a bartender at their Chateau de Cruix and as a Tour Manager in Europe and New Zealand. He worked numerous roles including Resort Manager, Sales Manager and Vice President of Contiki Operations, USA. Richard was later appointed to Contiki USA President in 1993 and Destination America President in 1999. He was promoted to The Travel Corporation USA President role from 2005-2018. He returned to being the President & CEO of Destination American from 2018 onwards.
“I am forever grateful to the Tollman family and the TTC Board for the support and opportunities I have been given over these 40 years. Equally, I am so thankful to all of my TTC teammates and industry partners and friends that I have had the privilege to work with over so many years – you have all sustained me, “ says Richard Launder. “What a wonderful industry we all work in, where we truly make a difference to people’s lives through the gift of travel. I look forward to making additional travel plans with my wife, improving my Spanish language skills and taking on some enjoyable project work within the industry,” he added.
Kirsten Bain has been promoted to the Destination America CEO role. She began her TTC career 18 years ago as a Contiki Tour Manager. In 2010, she was promoted to Contiki Operations and Product Services Manager overseeing all aspects of operations from recruiting and training new staff for the Europe teams to contracting of suppliers. In 2014, Kirsten was appointed to Head of Operations, managing day-to-day operations of various brands in Asia and Australia. In 2019, she was promoted to Vice President of Contiki Operations USA.
“I am honored and excited to take on this new role as CEO, and I am committed to leading with passion, integrity, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, says Kirsten Bain. “Richard leaves behind the legacy of an incredible team whom I’m confident will continue to drive innovation, exceed expectations, and ultimately, help make Destination America the leading DMC in North America,” she added.