Flavour of the Week: Contiki Australia names new boss, TTNQ appoints CEO + MORE!

This week’s Flavour of the Week is borderline moorish with a rich stock of industry appointments, including Katrina Barry’s interim replacement and five new GMs for Marriott across APAC.

Contiki Australia names new interim boss

Contiki has revealed that Belinda Ward will lead the company’s Australian business from 13 September.

Ward will fill in for the most powerful woman in travel, Katrina Barry, who is heading off on maternity leave until midway through 2020.

Ward is currently the general manager of sales at Evolution Travel Collective. Prior to that, she worked in a number of senior roles at G Adventures, including as managing director for Australia and New Zealand. She has also held positions at Peregrine Adventures and Flight Centre.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland appoints Mark Olsen as CEO


Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) has appointed Mark Olsen as chief executive officer.

The head of Tourism and Property Investment at Brisbane Marketing, Olsen will arrive in Cairns by the end of September for a two-week handover period before CEO Pip Close departs on 16 October.

Marriott appoints five GMs across APAC 

Pictured (L to R): Krister Svensson, Gaurav Wattal, Kelvin Ramm, Romain Chanet, Brian Nathan
Pictured (L to R): Krister Svensson, Gaurav Wattal, Kelvin Ramm, Romain Chanet, Brian Nathan

Marriott International is pleased to announce the appointment of new general managers at five of its properties throughout Australia, New Caledonia and Samoa:

  • Krister Svensson, general manager, Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park
  • Gaurav Wattal, general manager, Melbourne Marriott Hotel
  • Kelvin Ramm, general manager, Brisbane Marriott Hotel
  • Romain Chanet, cluster general manager, Le Méridien Noumea Resort & Spa and Le Méridien Ile des Pins
  • Brian Nathan, cluster general manager, Sheraton Samoa Aggie Greys Hotel & Bungalows and Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort.

Lindblad Expeditions reinforces national sales team

Cherie Bowman

Lindblad Expeditions has appointed seasoned travel professional Cherie Bowman to the role of industry account manager for NSW, QLD and New Zealand, boosting its sales presence across the Tasman Sea.

With over 15 years’ experience in the travel industry, Bowman brings a wealth of knowledge to Lindblad, including her strong track record for increased sales as well as delivering training strategies to agency partners.

More specifically, Bowman’s seven years of experience in the cruise industry is sure to assist Lindblad Expeditions in its continued growth and success across the Australian and New Zealand market through her knowledge and passion for adventurous travel.

Her connection to unique and extraordinary travel experiences highlights her commitment to experiencing the planet’s natural wonders, a Lindblad Expeditions ethos.

Accor announce eight Australian GM appointments 

Accor GM appointments
Pictured (L to R, top to bottom): Maurits de Graeff, Brad Coelho, Nikki Little, Craig Kelmar, Larrissa Holdsworth, Andrew Walling, Mamta Chauhan, Rachael Kolmajer

Accor has announced eight new general manager appointments for residences across Australia:

  • Maurits de Graeff, general manager, The Playford Adelaide – MGallery by Sofitel
  • Brad Coelho, general manager, Novotel Perth Langley
  • Nikki Little, general manager, ibis Sydney Airport
  • Craig Kelmar, general manager, The Adnate – Art Series Perth
  • Larrissa Holdsworth, general manager, Mantra Midtown in Brisbane
  • Andrew Walling, general manager, Mantra St Kilda Road, Melbourne
  • Mamta Chauhan, general manager, ibis Budget Enfield
  • Rachael Kolmajer, general manager, ibis Budget Newcastle.

Switzerland Tourism ANZ appoints market manager

Esther Grob, Switzerland Tourism
Pictured (L to R): Esther Grob, Livio Goetz and Birgit Weingartner

Switzerland Tourism ANZ has welcomed Esther Grob to their Sydney team to assist with trade relations in the region.

Gob previously held a position with Zurich Tourism as market manager Asia-Pacific, where part of her role included growing and training the ANZ market on Zurich products, offerings and experiences.

She will be working closely with director Livio Goetz and marketing manager Birgit Weingartner to grow the Switzerland product range in Australia.

Te Pae Christchurch appoints executive team

Te Pay

Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre has announced the appointment of an array of local and international talent for its executive leadership team today.

Joining general manager Ross Steele as part of the convention centre’s senior team are Karine Legeay-Fisher (event services), Gillian Officer (business development), Ben Buchanan (business services), Darren Tait (culinary services), Vanessa McBean (human resources) and Ken Davidson (building services).

Collectively, the group brings more than a century of national and international hospitality and event services experience to the city’s brand-new convention centre, according to the convention centre.

The Mint Partners appoints Cameron Thorburn as head of digital and content

assesment 2 photos

The Mint Partners has bolstered its senior leadership team with its first key hire of the new financial year, welcoming Cameron Thorburn as head of digital and content.

The appointment aims to cement MINT’s position as a “leading integrated agency”, offering insight-led programs for clients in the premium and luxury lifestyle space, according to the company.

Ink appoints WeThinkMedia as exclusive ANZ advertising rep

Travel media company Ink has appointed WeThinkMedia as its exclusive advertising representative in Australia and New Zealand, effective immediately.

Ink reportedly joins WeThinkMedia’s portfolio of media brands that include The New York Times, CNBC, LUMO, and foundation client MediaWorks New Zealand.


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