Viator grabs Expedia marketing guru for Europe MD role

Expedia has lost one of its top marketers, Patrik Oqvist, who left this week to become European managing director of burgeoning destination services agency Viator.com.


Oqvist was director of marketing for Hotels.com and credited with establishing the accommodation aggregator’s significant presence in the UK and other European territories.


He also spearheaded the recent relaunch of the Hotels.com brand across Europe under the ‘Wake Up Happy’ slogan.


Oqvist will play the lead role in Viator’s aggressive expansion plans for Europe following its rapid growth over the past two years.


The Viator marketplace – offering in-resort tours, attraction tickets and other services – has increased significantly as customers have chosen to self package their trips and bolt on destination products before leaving home.


Rival agencies Isango and DoSomethingDifferent have also seen a significant uptake in use over the same period.


Recent high-profile white label deals with easyJet (Viator) and Ryanair (Isango) have pushed the brands further into the mainstream.


Viator chairman Rod Cuthbert told Travolution: “He’ll [Patrik] join the global management team and will have an obvious role in planning our international expansion.


“Viator has an ambitious growth programme for Europe and Patrik fits right into our plan, having executed a similar plan for his current employers.”


Oqvist is the second high profile departure from Expedia in the past four months after the shock exit of Expedia UK managing director Caroline Cartellieri in April.


Cartellieri’s role was absorbed into a new position for Alex Zivoder as vice president EMEA.


Oqvist’s position at Expedia will in part take on by Matt Walls as director of marketing operations for Hotels.com.


Walls joined Expedia in 2003 following stints at Buzz and GB Airways and will report into Hotels.com EMEA managing director Nigel Pocklington.

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