Flavour of the Week

First in, shiny shoes, good desk posture. Let these industry movers and shakers’ work ethic & subsequent promotion be your guiding light.

Former Crystal Cruises President Edie Rodriguez Joins Ponant


Edie Rodriguez has joined Ponant Cultural Cruises & Expeditions as Americas brand chairman and corporate special advisor, a month after she resigned as president and CEO of Crystal Cruises.

Rodriguez left Crystal last month after a fast-paced tenure that saw the luxury cruise line expand from two large ocean ships to river and yacht cruises, as well as private jet charter with its own 84-seat Boeing 777-200LR and Bombardier Global Express.

In her new role, Rodriguez tells Travel Market Report she believes there is a big opportunity to expand the growing interest in expedition cruises.

Calling Ponant’s vessels a “Ferrari” with the “sexiest hard product” of the segment, she says her main focus will be making expedition cruising and Ponant top of mind with travel agents who she sees as the engine to delivering increased sales growth.

Euan Blake Appointed Sales Director for COMO Cocoa Island and COMO Maalifushi

Euan Blake

COMO Hotels and Resorts is pleased to announce the appointment of Euan Blake as Regional Director of Sales for its two Maldivian resorts. Blake will be based at COMO Maalifushi on the Thaa Atoll, South of Male, and will be responsible for the MEA and APAC regions.

Holding a BA in Hospitality Management, Blake’s career started in food and beverage before moving into cruise lines and subsequently corporate real estate, working on commercial, retail and leisure projects. In one of his most recent roles, Blake was instrumental in the communications strategy for the construction of W Hotel London, before focusing his career on sales and marketing.

Announcement of new General Manager ATS Pacific Australia


Helloworld Travel Limited is pleased to announce that Neale Herridge, currently General Manager of Global Sales at ATS Pacific, has been appointed General Manager ATS Pacific Australia.

Herridge has been in his current role for the past 2.5 years and prior to that was Director of Sales – Inbound for Accor.

ATS Pacific is a leading inbound travel management company servicing international travellers to Australia for over 30 years. With offices in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji it is a business of Helloworld Travel Limited’s Inbound division.

Herridge commenced in the new role in October 2017 and is based in Sydney.

Tourism Fiji appoints new Global Social Media Manager

Rush Pathak headshot

Tourism Fiji continues to strengthen its consumer marketing capabilities with the appointment of home-grown digital marketing specialist Rush Pathak as Global Social Media Manager. In the new role Pathak will lead the social media strategy for the destination.

With over a decade of experience in digital marketing and social media, Pathak will play a key role in building Tourism Fiji’s digital marketing capabilities.

Born in Suva, and having spent time working across the media, tourism and public sector landscapes in both Australia and New Zealand, Pathak is looking forward to spearheading the organisations social media activities.

“The organisation is going through a digital transformation by further developing their customer, data and digital focus. Something I am looking forward to being a part of,” he said.

Justin McConnell new General Manager of Next Hotel Brisbane 

Justin McConnell Photo

Next Hotel Brisbane is proud to announce the promotion of Hotel Manager Justin McConnell to General Manager after nine outstanding months with the company.

His success as Hotel Manager includes overseeing budget performance and has led Next Hotel Brisbane to achieve revenue growth year on year of eight per cent, which is very impressive in a declining market. Mr McConnell was instrumental in helping the hotel to win the Outstanding Community Service & Achievement Award this year at the annual Queensland Hotel Association Awards for Excellence in the 0-99 employees category.

An authentic and passionate manager who is considered a great team leader by staff, Mr McConnell joined Next Hotel Brisbane in February this year from Brisbane’s Emporium Hotel, where he was Executive Assistant Manager (EAM) for over three years. Previous to this he was Director of Rooms, Sofitel Brisbane and EAM of the 648 room Grand Hyatt Bali. Mr McConnell also has a culinary background and started his hospitality career as a Chef.

Cairns Airport CEO joins TTNQ Board


North Queensland Airports Chief Executive Officer Norris Carter has been appointed a Director of the Tourism Tropical North Queensland Board at its meeting today in Cairns.

New General Directors Sam Ferguson and Craig Pocock were welcomed to the Board after their election at the Annual General Meeting on Friday (October 20).

Chair Max Shepherd stepped down at the end of his three-year term and the Board confirmed the appointment of Director Wendy Morris as Chair. Cairns South Zone representative Ross Steele was re-elected Deputy Chair.

Morris said Carter’s appointment would add a vital skillset to the Board through his extensive airline and airport industry experience with Qantas, Auckland Airport, Cairns and Mackay Airports.

“Aviation is the funnel for visitation to Tropical North Queensland and a key plank for economic success for the region,” she said.

QBT Announces Emma Duff as New Head of Account Management


Helloworld Travel Limited’s corporate travel management division QBT, is pleased to announce the appointment of Emma Duff to the role of Head of Account Management for their growing corporate division.

Duff joins QBT with over 17 years’ experience in the travel industry. Her most recent role was as the Director of Consulting and Advisory at 4th Dimension Consulting, and prior to that she held roles as the Director of Account Management for both Egencia and FCm.

Duff said that she was “thrilled to be accepting this new challenge. The plans for continual innovation, expansion and growth into the future make this a very exciting time to be joining the company.”

As the leader of the Corporate Account Management team, Duff will ensure QBT clients experience world class account management services and drive value from their travel program.

Six Senses appoints Manish Puri as General Manager of Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali


Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has tapped Manish Puri as the General Manager for its upcoming Bali property, Six Senses Uluwatu, scheduled to open early 2018.

Puri joins Six Senses Uluwatu following a two-year stint as General Manager of Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain in China. He began his Six Senses career as general manager of Evason Ma’In Hot Springs and Six Senses Spa in Jordan before serving five years with the multi-award winning Six Senses Yai Noi in Thailand.

With more than 25 years in the hospitality industry, Puri started his hotel career as a management trainee in the Oberoi School of Hotel management and worked in various positions in food and beverage with the Oberoi Group. He then joined the Burj Al Arab in Dubai as private dining manager before returning to India to open The Leela Palace Kempinski, Bangalore.

“Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali marks a key milestone for Six Senses as the brand enters the Republic of Indonesia. I am very excited for this new opening which will bring the Six Senses ethos of sustainability, local sensitivity and wellness together with the traditional local Balinese culture and traditions,” Puri said.


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