Switzerland Tourism has announced it is appointing Divine Bonga as Head of Media and Communications North America, effective on 01SEP 2021. In the new role, Bonga will be managing communications strategy for the Swiss national tourism board and lead a team of media professionals in New York, San Francisco, and Toronto. As part of this new team Laura Fairweather will be assuming the role of Media Relations Project Manager Canada in Toronto, effective 26AUG 2021.
In the new role, Fairweather will focus on Canadian and Greater Chicago area-based media markets. She has been practicing Public Relations for 25 years within the the luxury hospitality industry for Four Season Hotels and Resorts as well as for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Fairweather’s background also includes four years at the Canadian Tourism Commission.
Divine Bonga is succeeding Ursula Beamish-Mader, who has been leading the North American media department for Swiss Tourism for the last 10 years, and has also managed media relations in Canada for over 30 years. As Open Jaw reported, Beamish-Mader is retiring in mid-SEP.
Bonga joined Switzerland Tourism in JUN 2019 as the Media Relations Manager Eastern USA from the New York office. During that time, she has been managing media relations on an interim basis with Mid-West and Texas based journalists. In the new role as Head of Media and Communcations, Bonga will be responsible for hiring a new team of media professionals across North American as well as developing the communications strategy too promote Switzerland as a leading tourist destination. Bonga will report to Claudio Zemp, Director Americas.
“I’m so excited that with Divine Bonga we will have a highly talented and driven PR professional at the helm of our media and communications team in North America. At a time when both the travel and media industries are emerging from the pandemic battlefield, Divine will be instrumental in positioning the holiday destination Switzerland in the US and Canada in this new era of travel,” commented Zemp.
Prior to working for Switzerland Tourism, Bonga worked for the luxury brand Montblanc and the Swiss watchmaker Swatch and holds a master’s degree of Science in Communications Management from the Università della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano (Switzerland).
Bonga commented on the promotion, saying: “It’s a privilege to take over this position and lead the communications strategy for Switzerland Tourism in the North American market, a region where media platforms are very influential with a global reach. I am thrilled to further develop relations with existing and new media contacts alike and create opportunities to showcase our multifaced destination. Working for this great organization over the last two years has been incredibly exciting and I am looking forward to further contributing to the success of Swiss Tourism.”