Tourism

Flavour of the Week

Take a look at this impressive list of industry movers and shakers. The most impressive thing we’ve done lately is turning up to work on time. That’s impressive, right?

Ovolo Hotels appoints new Director of Marketing 

Stephen Howard

Award-winning design-lead hotel collection Ovolo Hotels has appointed Stephen Howard as its Director of Marketing.

Howard joins Ovolo following nearly six years at Event Hospitality & Entertainment most recently leading their communications as Group PR Director. Having joined Event Hospitality & Entertainment in 2012 after nearly five years at Hyundai Motor Company Australia, Howard brings more than 15 years of experience across marketing and communications to his new role as Ovolo Hotels.

“Ovolo is an amazing, fun and creative brand! The collection of hotels is setting a new benchmark for guest experiences through design, fashion, art and all-inclusive service with personality,” said Howard when discussing the move.

Leading audiovisual service provider AVPartners appoints Andrew Hackett as Managing Partner

Andrew Hackett

The role will see Hackett lead the business (which places Partners and their teams at state-of-the-art venues across the country) building upon the company’s unmatched reputation for service and event delivery.

Hackett previously worked as Business Development Manager and Partner at AVPartners. His promotion to Managing Partner recognises his unique skill set and passion for the company.

Prior to working at AVPartners, Hackett gained seven years experience in the real estate industry. Hackett has extensive experience in business management, business development, marketing, sales, negotiation and client relationship management. This, combined with a fresh perspective and innovative thinking, allows him to bring a dynamic approach to managing a close-knit team, and deliver industry-leading service to clients.

Commenting on his new role, Hackett said, “My vision for AVPartners is to see the business continue to invest in leading audiovisual technology, to remain deeply committed to delivering five-star customer service, and to always strive for a team culture that attracts and retains skilled, motivated and entrepreneurial team members.

Aurora Expeditions expands global sales team in the UK, Europe and North America

Aurora Expeditions continues to expand its global sales team with the announcement today of two new sales-focused directors spanning the UK, Europe and North America.

Craig Upshall has been appointed to the role of Sales Director UK and Europe while Edith Beaudoin has been appointed to the role of Sales Director North America – with each responsible for growing the Aurora Expeditions brand in their regions via existing and new sales channels, as well as innovative partner development strategies.

Craig joins the team with over twenty years of global experience in the travel and tourism industry. For the past seven years he was employed with Rocky Mountaineer as business manager for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. Previously Craig worked with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, as well as held senior roles with Island Cruises and American Airlines.

Edith joins the team with ten years of international travel trade experience holding an array of sales roles in North America. Edith, most recently has spent the past year in Nicaragua assisting a not for profit organization to build tourism to Nicaragua and the surrounding area of Central America.

Hilton Announces John Lucas as General Manager for Hilton Port Moresby

John Lucas

Hilton have announced John Lucas as General Manager for Hilton Port Moresby, the first Hilton Hotels & Resorts branded property to open in Papua New Guinea.

Hilton will manage the newly built Hilton Port Moresby and the Kutubu Convention Centre as part of the Star Mountain Plaza development, on behalf of Mountain Plaza Ltd (SMPL). The 16-storey, 212-room Hilton hotel will feature five unique food and beverage outlets, including the signature Mumu Restaurant. The Kutubu Convention Centre will feature a banquet hall with a capacity of up to 800 people, six meeting rooms and an outdoor amphitheatre.

John Lucas’s career with Hilton has spanned over 30 years, most recently as Area General Manager for Hilton in the Northern Territory, looking after Hilton Darwin, DoubleTree by Hilton Darwin, DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin and DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs. Across these four properties, John was responsible for 853 guest rooms, eight food and beverage outlets, and significant meeting and event space.

Crystalbrook Collection strengthens leadership team

Crystalbrook Collection has made four key appointments as the hotel group continues to strengthen its leadership team.

Neil Patmore, Chief Financial Officer, Crystalbrook Collection Corporate Office

Crystalbrook Collection has appointed Neil Patmore as its Chief Financial Officer overseeing the company’s planned AU$1 billion investment in Australia. Neil joins Crystalbrook Collection following an extensive career in the United Kingdom, USA, Australia and New Zealand. Most recently Neil was the Senior Regional Finance Director, Australasia for Hilton Worldwide.

Speaking on his appointment, Neil said: “Crystalbrook Collection has a great future. It’s a unique and exciting opportunity to work alongside like-minded individuals passionate about creating a new brand that will challenge the status quo within the hospitality world.”
Neil will be based at Crystalbrook Collection’s head office in Sydney overseeing teams in Sydney, Cairns and Port Douglas.

Eddie Ross, Food and Beverage Manager, Crystalbrook Collection Cairns

Eddie Ross has been appointed Food and Beverage Manager across the first three Crystalbrook Collection hotels located in Cairns. Eddie brings a wealth of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry acquired working throughout Australia and New Zealand. Most recently he managed a staff of 350 where he was responsible formulating and implementing strategies for growth.

Commenting on his appointment, Eddie said: “We’ve got very strong restaurant concepts and I’m looking forward to opening these and making our mark on the Australian culinary scene.”

Luis Rodrigo Zamora, Executive Chef, Crystalbrook Collection Cairns

Hospitality veteran Luis Rodrigo (Rod) Zamora has been appointed Executive Chef overseeing the groups hotel portfolio in Cairns. Rod is a seasoned culinary professional with more than 20 years’ hospitality experience working throughout London, Netherlands, Malaysia, Thailand, Maldives and Australia. Most recently he held the position of Executive Chef with Hilton Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.

“Having worked abroad for so many years I’m excited to be back in Australia and working with the extensive array of fantastic local produce we have here,” said Rod.

George Beeby, Director of Sales, Crystalbrook Collection Cairns

George Beeby joins Crystalbrook Collection as the newly appointed Director of Sales across the three hotel developments in Cairns. George brings over a decade’s experience in sales and business development to the role. George previously held senior sales positions with both Starwood/Marriott International and Accor Hotels.

Speaking on his appointment, George said: “I’m excited about Crystalbrook Collection’s vision and look forward to redefining Cairns as the go-to destination for luxury leisure.”

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Hotels

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Destinations

South Australia changes border restrictions for travellers from NSW

by Huntley Mitchell

Finding it hard to follow of all the constantly-changing domestic border restrictions? Travel Weekly has done some of the deciphering for you here.

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Cruise

Royal Caribbean extends cruise suspension, announces US$40m funding pool for agents

Despite what the headline suggests, the cruise group isn’t offering agents to take a dip in a literal pool of cash, much to our disappointment.

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Wholesalers

The Travel Corporation’s Aussie CEO to depart as part of major exec changes

Here’s some very big news right here for your Friday, with TTC’s Fiona Dalton set to fly the coop after just three months in the top role.

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Aviation

Indonesian socialite books out entire flight to Bali to avoid COVID-19

The grandson of a pharmaceutical tycoon reckons booking out an entire commercial flight is cheaper than chartering a private jet.

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Hotels

Opening date revealed for W Melbourne

Have you been waiting with bated breath for Marriott to reveal the opening date for its new Melbourne property? Well, you can now rid yourself of all that anxiety.

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Travel Agents

CTM boss in legal stoush with Brisbane City Council over $20 million property plan

Jamie Pherous has become entangled in a legal battle with the council over a swimming pool he wants to build at his new property on Brisbane River.

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Wholesalers

Get in quick! Trafalgar launches ‘Break Out & Break Free’ sale

It appears 2021 is the year of the sale, with Trafalgar joining the already long list of travel brands spruiking their discounted wares.

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Aviation

Unions take Qantas to High Court over JobKeeper “wage theft”

by Ali Coulton

Having lost on appeal in the Federal Court late last year, the unions are now taking their JobKeeper fight against Qantas to the High Court.

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