Wyndham signs on TIA travel veteran

Wyndham has appointed travel industry veteran Betsy O’Rourke as senior vice president, marketing and communications.

In her new role, O’Rourke will develop corporate marketing programs, oversee Wyndham Worldwide media relations and employee communications and serve as marketing and communications liaison with the company’s business units: Wyndham Hotel Group, Wyndham Vacation Ownership and RCI Global Vacation Network.

She previously was senior vice president of marketing for the Travel Industry Association of America, a Washington-based trade association that represents the interests of the U.S. travel industry, where she was one of three members of the senior management team.

Among her accomplishments at TIA, O’Rourke created and implemented SeeAmerica, an international umbrella marketing program for the U.S. travel industry, and associated partnership programs. Her work included development of the SeeAmerica.org Web site and the program’s branding, advertising and international and domestic sales and promotional efforts.

In conjunction with the SeeAmerica program, she developed TIA’s 2002 partnership with the U.S. Postal Service and its Greetings from America stamp collection; SeeAmerica’s Byways partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2003; and SeeAmerica’s National Parks, a partnership with the U.S. Department of Interior in 2004.


O’Rourke also was responsible for managing International Pow Wow, the U.S. travel industry’s largest business-to-business international trade show that generates approximately $3 billion in sales, and the creation of its associated PowWowOnline.com Web site.

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, she led TIA’s efforts to implement a coordinated industry response through marketing materials, a print advertising campaign and a televised public service announcement featuring President George W. Bush and various travel industry leaders.

From 1991 to 1998, O’Rourke served Choice Hotels International of Silver Spring, Md., in various roles of increasing responsibility. She was named senior vice president, marketing services—a corporate officer—in 1996 and ultimately directed a 90-person team, a $60 million budget and the company’s “celebrity-in-a-suitcase” television campaign.

Among her numerous awards, O’Rourke was named one of the “Top 25 Marketing Minds in the Travel Industry” by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International two years in a row. She received the Inspiration Award from the Association of Travel Marketing Executives for her Sept. 11, 2001, travel industry recovery campaign.

From 1987 to 1990, she served as principal of Betsy Bromberg & Associates, a marketing and communications agency with offices in New York and Denver. Her clients included Choice Hotels International, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Ramada International, Best Western, the former U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration and Minibar Inc.

From 1983 to 1987, O’Rourke was director of marketing and communications for the American Hotel & Lodging Association. From 1980 to 1983 she was creative director for the Hemming & Gilman agency in New York. She received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1977.