Travel Agents

Flavour of the Week

Moving, shaking or cheese-toastie making? (The last one is us, just FYI). Well you’ll find them here, in our Flavour of the Week.

Send out good vibes and congratulations to our industry’s newest staffers.

Singapore Tourism Board expands Oceania team with new appointments

Fang-Xun Ong
Fang-Xun Ong
Joelle Vella
Joelle Vella

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has welcomed Fang-Xun Ong, Senior Manager and Joelle Vella, Marketing Representative, to the expanding Oceania team this month.

Based in the Sydney office, Fang-Xun succeeds Cheryl Wen in managing the marketing portfolio across the region. She joins the team from STB’s international marketing department in Singapore, where she spent six years developing and implementing marketing initiatives across key global markets.

Her focus in Sydney will be the planning and implementation of integrated marketing campaigns across Australia and New Zealand, and working closely with STB’s Singapore and Australian-based supporting agencies for PR and media with their strategy planning for the Australian market.

Fang-Xun’s appointment comes concurrently with the departure of Cheryl Wen who, after almost three years in the Sydney regional office, returns to Singapore to oversee the marketing efforts of the Board’s Cultural Precincts division.

Expanding STB Oceania’s Australian presence, Vella brings to her role 17 years of travel industry experience that spans sales, business development and leadership.

Her Melbourne-based appointment via The Walshe Group, represents the Board’s renewed focus on Victoria, Australia’s second largest source market into Singapore. Vella will be responsible for all trade-related activity there, driving awareness of Singapore as a leisure and MICE destination within the state.

Sharon Lam, Area Director Oceania said, “We’re thrilled to welcome both Fang and Jo to the Oceania team and in particular, to have a dedicated person on-site to reach out to the Victorian market.

“We’re confident that their extensive combined industry experience will result in increased trade engagement in Victoria, enabling more Aussies to discover the endless possibilities Singapore can present for both leisure and MICE travellers.”

Nanuku appoints Fiji specialist Joanne Karaboikis to new retail sales role

NAR - Joanne Karaboikis June 2017

Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji General Manager, Sascha Hemmann has announced the appointment of Joanne Karaboikis to the newly created role of Retail Sales Executive (Australia), effective immediately.

Based in Sydney, Karaboikis will work closely with Nanuku’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Shashita Nand assisting with the management of the resort’s industry related sales and partnership activity within Australia.

She will also undertake similar responsibilities on behalf of Nanuku’s Auberge sister property, the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colorado.

Karaboikis is extremely well known on both the Australian and Fijian travel scene, her experience including a 12-year stint with South Sea Cruises promoting several brands under the Fijian Holdings umbrella, among them Blue Lagoon Cruises, and Awesome Adventures.

Her Fiji experience also extends to a sales executive role with Air Pacific (now Fiji Airways).

New UK MD for Wendy Wu Tours

Mark Bloxam

Wendy Wu Tours, has announced the appointment of Mark Bloxham as the new Managing Director for the business in the United Kingdom.

Based in London, Bloxham will lead the British operation of the award-winning tour operator, driving the company’s progressive digital transformation strategy, reporting to Global CEO Joe Karbo and company Founder & Chairwoman, Wendy Wu.

Bloxham joins Wendy Wu Tours with over 17 years of extensive experiences in digital marketing and online transformation, most recently consulting as UK Marketing Officer with venture capital backed, tech mobility startup Gett in a purely online model, and previously as Managing Director for the fast growing and highly successful James Villa Holidays.

In this role, Bloxham had overall responsibility for leading the established and successful management team in the UK, to move the traditional upmarket villa holiday business into the digital arena, at the same time giving focus to customer service and operational excellence online. He is credited with delivering three years of strong growth, including the trade business.

Prior to this, Bloxham served as Marketing Director for the DMGT brand Teletext where he spearheaded the company’s conversion to a dynamic, digitally driven profitable business via an extensive strategic overhaul, that maximised visibility, customer lifetime value and drove extensive social engagement. Bloxham also boasts successful roles at Kaplan UK, Adecco and Thomas Cook.

Bloxham said, “I’m excited to be joining Wendy Wu Tours at a time of digital transformation. It’s a privilege to be given the opportunity to lead this dynamic business, and work with one of the industry’s most influential and driven entrepreneurs.”

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji welcomes New Hospitality Manager


Captain Cook Cruises Fiji is delighted to announce the appointment of Ilisoni Vebose as Hospitality Manager onboard MV Reef Endeavour.

Vebose brings to the role 17 years of experience working for different resorts and cruising companies and for the past three years has been employed at Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa in the position of Events Manager (MICE).

In his new position as Hospitality Manager, Vebose will be responsible for managing all crew departments, including crew training, housekeeping and dining and beverage services to ensure guests holiday expectations are exceeded.

“I really enjoy making sure that guests are having a fantastic time on the cruise and that their expectations are delivered to the highest of standards. I see any challenge as an opportunity not only to improve but sustain excellent service,” said Vebose.

Vebose, who has been in the role since April, says he loves interacting with guests from different nationalities and hopes to exceed in his given responsibilities.

“I want to be the best Hospitality Manager I possibly can be, with a positive attitude and the ability to engage closely with our guests, crew, department and division heads and our General Manager, as we all work together to pursue common business goals.

“I also look forward to creating an everlasting rapport with guests, identifying business potential and turning good results into great results.”

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas Appoints General Manager for Krabey Island


Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has appointed Alistair Anderson as General Manager of Six Senses Krabey Island. The resort, scheduled to open in 2018, is located on a private island and is comprised of 40 pool villas set on a 30-acre site and is served by watercraft transfers from a mainland reception facility.

Anderson brings more than 25 years of experience to his new role, having worked with international and independent hotel groups. These include Rooms and GM assignments with Hyatt International in Sydney and Canberra, Aman Resorts in London, Bali and Australia plus the Merrivale Group in Sydney.

He also includes the Commonwealth Club in Canberra and Sir Stamford at Circular Quay in Sydney in his career highlights. Alistair also spent time as a lecturer at William Blue International Hotel School, Sydney.

Anderson joins Six Senses Krabey Island from his previous role as operations manager at Two Wolves Community Cantina, a social enterprise of The Cardoner Project, Sydney.

Globus family of brands appoints PR agency GTI Tourism in Australian market

Long-standing global escorted tour, river cruise and independent travel package company, Globus family of brands, has appointed GTI Tourism as its Australian public relations agency, effective immediately.

Globus family of brands encompasses coach tour companies, Globus and Cosmos; river cruise operator, Avalon Waterways; and independent touring brand, Monograms. Travel experiences across the portfolio of brands are offered throughout Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Africa.

Through a proactive and creative press office, familiarisations and profiling opportunities, GTI Tourism will continue to drive and build the profile of the company and the diverse offerings of each brand via consumer and trade media channels.

Globus family of brands’ national marketing manager Chris Fundell said the appointment of GTI Tourism comes at a pivotal time for the company, with several developments and projects in the pipeline for 2018.

“We’ve experienced great success over the last decade with a strong PR presence in the Australian market and we want to continue educating travel trade and consumers on our brands through a strong, strategic public relations approach,” Fundell said.

“With a strong 90-year history in the tourism industry, we are determined to keep our product and messaging current and forward thinking.

It’s important to the growth of the company that we achieve continual exposure across all of our brands and share our story and vision,” he said.

New appointment for Malamala Beach Club Fiji Team


South Sea Cruises Fiji Ltd has announced a new appointment to its management team across its family of brands including Blue Lagoon Cruises, South Sea Cruises, Yasawa Islands Holidays, Awesome Adventures Fiji, Vinaka Fiji and the newest venture, Malamala Beach Club which is due to open mid-2017.

Christian Yee has been appointed to the new role of Beach Club Manager at Malamala Beach Club Fiji. Yee, a native Fijian from Nadi, relocates from Hamilton, New Zealand back to Fiji.

Yee comes with over ten years’ experience in the hospitality and travel industry and most recently was Food and Beverage Supervisor for Novotel Tainui Hamilton.

Yee brings his passion and knowledge to the pre-opening team about creating a positive and high quality service culture, along with his love of coffee industry and espresso culture. Yee joined the pre-opening team at Malamala Beach Club Fiji on 01 June 2017.


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