Flavour of the Week

It’s an impressive conga line of new appointments in the travel industry. So grab your castanets and shake along to this lot.

Wendy Wu farewells Andrew Mulholland

Wendy Wu Tours, has today announced the imminent departure of Andrew Mulholland from his role as Managing Director, Australia.

Mulholland took up this key role in June 2016 and within 18 months has been instrumental in supporting the company’s digital transformation from a brochure only operation to one which now encompasses a fully bookable website.

In addition, Mulholland reengaged partnerships with key consortia partners, and substantially increased brand awareness for the award-winning tour operator.

Speaking about his role at Wendy Wu Tours, Mullholland said, “18 months was always a big ask, but we have managed to move successfully on a digital platform for the Australian business. The repercussions from this have been immense, as Wendy Wu Tours’ product and brand propositions are stronger than ever, which will strengthen its overall value proposition.”

AccorHotels appoints Glen Erickson General Manager of new-build Novotel Melbourne South Wharf 


AccorHotels has appointed Glen Erickson as General Manager of Novotel Melbourne South Wharf. The hotel is currently under construction, set to open March 2018, and forms part of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) expansion project.

When it opens, the brand new Novotel Melbourne South Wharf will feature 347 guestrooms and direct access to the largest event space in the Southern Hemisphere; the 70,000 square meter Melbourne Exhibition Convention Center (MCEC).

Erickson brings over 15 years of experience to the role, having worked for AccorHotels across a diverse range of brands including ibis, Mercure, Novotel and Pullman. He has held General Manager roles at key hotels including Pullman Sydney Olympic Park, ibis Perth and ibis Brisbane.

Intrepid Group creates the role of Chief Purpose Officer

Leigh Barnes

Australian owned Intrepid Group, the world’s largest adventure travel company, has announced a new role on its global executive team: Chief Purpose Officer (CPO).

Intrepid Group’s North American Director, Leigh Barnes, will return home to Melbourne to move into this position on 1 July 2018.

It has been two years since the Intrepid Group returned to independent ownership, since then it has seen record growth of 20 per cent annually across all its brands, putting emphasis on having a purpose beyond profit.

To support the business’s 2020 goal of developing more community-based tourism projects and shared value partnerships, in addition to donating AUD$3 million to local communities through the Intrepid Foundation, CEO James Thornton created the role of Chief Purpose Officer.

Intrepid Group appoints Chief Growth Officer

Michael Edwards Headshot-min

The Intrepid Group, the world’s largest adventure travel company, announced the addition of a Chief Growth Officer (CGO) to its global leadership team. Effective 1 January 2018, Michael Edwards will move into the role of Chief Growth Officer.

Intrepid Group CEO James Thornton created the role to focus on sustained growth in both purpose and profit. Thornton believes the role of CGO will help Intrepid Group become the first billion-dollar adventure travel company by 2025, while donating $3 million into local communities through the Intrepid Foundation by 2020.

In his role as CGO, Michael Edwards, formerly Intrepid Group’s regional director in Europe, Middle East and Asia, will manage Intrepid Group’s Regional Directors and Melbourne-based Marketing Services team. Edwards says a key focus for the new role will be to grow the Intrepid Group’s Adventure Cruising program and launch its first Antarctica charters in partnership with Chimu Adventures.

Next Story Group Appoints Kathleen Norman as Marketing Communications Manager, ANZ

Corporate Photo_Kathleen Norman_Colour_2

Hotel, technology and creative innovators Next Story Group is pleased to announce the appointment of experienced marketing and communications specialist Kathleen Norman as Marketing Communications Manager for Australia and New Zealand.

With a marketing and advertising background in organizations including Thomson Corporation as Asia Pacific Marketing Manager; Fairfax Media as Advertising Sales Manager and Honeywell as Marketing Communications Specialist, Norman will be responsible for the branding and marketing of Next Story Group across the portfolio of hotel brands including Next Hotels, Sage Hotels and Chifley Hotels plus the Kafnu community and work spaces, launching in 2018.

In her first few weeks with Next Story Group, Norman successfully launched the new Sage Hotel Ringwood in Melbourne’s East. Her years of experience in marketing management, communications and sales roles in Australia and the Asia Pacific region will see her manage end-to-end workflow from internal and external stakeholders and monitor results from marketing activities.

Philippe Gombert reelected as President of the Relais & Châteaux Association

Credit_photo_Thomas BISMUTH-Mediatome-BU3U6939

The very positive results shown these past four years led Philippe Gombert to run for office again.

Elected by the General Assembly of the members, on a proposal from the President, the Executive Committee consists of hotel and restaurant members whose role is to ensure the management of the Association, to establish its major strategic guidelines.
Philippe Gombert, International President of Relais & Châteaux, was reelected for another 5 years. The Executive Committee welcomes two new members: Vito Cinque, Vice-President of Europe, and Matias de Cristobal, Executive Committee member

APT Travel Group Sales Team Restructure


APT Travel Group is proud to announce several new recruits and promotions in their impressive Sales Team, starting with the well-earned promotion of Scott Ellis in the newly created role of ATG National Sales Manager.

Scott has been with the company for 14 years in various roles including VIC/TAS/SA State Manager, Scott will be working closely with State Managers and the On-road Sales Team to maximize conversions for agents by leveraging the ATG platform of brands to help develop new activity and drive sales.

Jo Ellies – State Manager WA has expanded her role, now also responsible for leading the SA/NT region and team, following long term success in WA.

Jacinta Crisp has been promoted to State Manager VIC/TAS having been with ATG as BDM for the last 3 years. Susan Haberle’s role has been expanded and is now Head of Sales for Australasia role, heading up the Australia and New Zealand Sales team, managing trade partnerships and sales strategy.

Kieran Healy joins the team as the new inside Sales Manager. Kieran comes to ATG after nine years at Rail Plus as their reservations and operations manager and will be starting alongside the teams’ new Sales Communications Executive, Jordan Fransz who joins us from RAC WA.

SALA Phuket Resort and Spa fills key positions ahead of its 10 year anniversary

New appts at SALA Phuket Resort & Spa

As SALA Phuket Resort and Spa approaches its 10th anniversary in December 2017, the luxury beachfront resort has appointed a new General Manager, Executive Chef, and Food & Beverage Manager to lead the luxury beachfront resort into the next decade.

The role of General Manager is a homecoming for Anthony Van Sleeuwen, who in his previous tenure with SALA Hospitality Group opened SALA Phuket as Executive Assistant Manager in 2007 and later became Resident Manager.

Joining Van Sleeuwen is another familiar face to the SALA team, Executive Chef Tony Wrigley, who has been transferred from his role as Regional Executive Chef – sala boutique, where he oversaw the culinary operations for sala rattanakosin, sala khao yai, and sala ayutthaya for the last five years.

Working with Wrigley to ensure SALA Phuket Resort and Spa’s gastronomic offerings are of the highest standards is the new Food & Beverage Manager Basil Scheerer. Scheerer joins the team from the Pullman Khaolak-Phang Nga, where he was responsible for the management and operation of all the hotel’s restaurants and bars, as well as for the monthly coordination of multiple weddings and banqueting events.

Ani Villas Appoints New CEO 

JV Head Shot _ (1)

John Vasatka will take over as CEO this month for the Ani Villas’ collection of private resorts in Anguilla, Sri Lanka and Thailand, as well as a fourth property due to open later this month in the Dominican Republic.

Vasatka has worked with upscale luxury hotels for nearly two decades, including 12 years as general manager at various Aman Resorts’ locations in the Caribbean, the Middle East, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

His most recent position was as GM at the Malliouhana, an Auberge resort on Anguilla. He will continue to be based on the 35-square-mile British territory in the West Indies where Ani Villas first opened its doors in 2011.

Travel Counsellors welcomes Jane Tanti 


Travel Counsellors announced that Jane Tanti joined the team this week as Cruise Executive. After China, Australia is the second largest growth market in cruise, and with her vast experience, Tanti will strengthen relationships with partners and further support agents to drive growth in cruise sales.

Tanti has been in the industry for several years most recently working for Viking Cruises. Previously, Tanti worked with Cunard Line and Seabourn Cruise Line (who then became World’s Leading Cruise Lines), and for Cruise Office who were the GSA for Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Voyages of Antiquity, Voyages of Discovery, Swan Hellenic and American Queen Steamboat Company.

A member of SKAL and CLIA, Tanti is so passionate about cruising that she has done over 50 cruises to date.


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