Flavour of the Week

Flavour of the Week

This list of industry movers and shakers is one of the longest we’ve ever seen! It’s even longer than the list of reasons we’re ordering a beer at lunch

Voyages welcome new CEO Grant Hunt

New Voyages CEO Grant Hunt

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia has welcomed well-respected Australian travel industry leader Grant Hunt as CEO.

Hunt is actually returning to the role, he headed Voyages Hotels and Resorts for more than a decade from 1996-2006. Previously Hunt’s achievements included the development of Longitude 131 and The Lost Camel Hotel, the establishment of the Mutitjulu Foundation and the production of the Travel Industry’s first ever report on Corporate Social Responsibility.

During that time Hunt also oversaw the expansion of the company from a single resort asset at Uluru to a portfolio of 23 hotels and resorts across 17 of Australia’s most sensitive and remote destinations, many of which are within National Parks and World Heritage areas.

Since his time at Voyages, Hunt developed his own nature-based tourism company, Anthology, and was the owner of Hunt Tourism Services, a specialist advisory service to the experiential tourism and travel sector with a focus on nature-based tourism. He has chaired several key industry boards including The Australian Tourism Data Warehouse, The Commonwealth Icon Sites Task Force, Tourism Tasmania and Tourism Northern Territory. He also served on the board of Tourism Australia and was a member of the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park Board of Management.

Welcome to the Club: Rachael Harding as new general manager, Club MedAustralia & New Zealand

Rachael Harding

Entering the brand at the heart of an exciting period of global expansion and record market growth, Club Med welcomes Rachael Harding as the newly-appointed general manager for Club Med Australia and New Zealand.

Bringing two decades of industry experience both within Australia and internationally, most recognisably through her previous roles with The Travel Corporation, Harding plans to use her know-how to further evolve the Club Med brand in the Pacific and has already started strengthening relationships and strategizing with key trade partners, as well as being involved in key global initiatives that will accelerate the offering and growth in this region.

On her appointment, Rachael said, “I am thrilled to join Club Med and be part of such an iconic, pioneering brand. Over the years I’ve visited a number of resorts myself, both as a child and now with my own family –an incredible testament to the unique, all-inclusive experience that Club Med continues to evolve and offer families, couples and groups throughout its resorts. It’s exciting to lead our exceptionally talented team and work with our important trade partners in this next chapter of Club Med innovation and growth.”

Recently receiving three nominations at the 2018 Women in Travel Awards and taking home‘Sales Woman of the Year’, Harding will ensure Club Med achieve their ambitious target of growing the Pacific market by 50 per cent over the next three years, following the success of another female Club Med general manager, Madeleine Clow-Suares, who lead the region to a 50 per cent growth between 2014 –2017.

RCL Cruises appoints new director of sales Australia and New Zealand

RCL Cruises has announced Jason Triebel as director of sales, Australia and New Zealand, effective from 10 September.

Triebel will be responsible for leading RCL Cruises’ strategic account, key account, and field sales teams and continuing to strengthen relationships with RCL Cruises’ valuable trade partners in the region. Triebel will be based in RCL Cruises’ Sydney office, reporting to Susan Bonner, vice president and managing director.

“The cruise industry has always fascinated me. There is so much potential in this region, and I feel privileged and excited to be a part of it. We all have an important part to play in order to successfully meet demand and continue to grow both Australian and New Zealander’s appetites for cruising,” said Jason Triebel.

Triebel comes to RCL Cruises with over twenty years’ experience in the travel industry, most recently engaged on independent consulting assignments and pursuing his love of travel. Prior to this, Triebel was with Qantas Airways for nineteen years, in which he held a number of commercial leadership roles across the organisation with his most recent position as head of global sales and tourism development.

Rocky Mountaineer appoints Ben Gorman as sales manager, Australia and New Zealand

Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 12.26.51 pm

Rocky Mountaineer, the world’s largest privately owned luxury tourist train, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ben Gorman as sales manager, Australia and New Zealand.

Gorman will provide a wealth of travel industry experience to the existing sales team in the region and will work closely with trade partners to build on existing relationships while seeking new opportunities. Based in Melbourne, Gorman will report to Amber Wilson, regional director of sales, Australia & New Zealand and will assume the position on September 3.

Gorman joins Rocky Mountaineer after having held increasingly senior roles at Contiki and AAT Kings over the past seven years.

Cover-More appoints Hanno Mijer new CEO

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) has appointed Hanno Mijer CEO of Cover-More. He will replace Mike Emmett who will continue to support the leadership transition until the end of 2018.

Mijer is a senior global leader with extensive experience in the insurance industry having worked in Europe, US, Latin America and Asia for various companies including Zurich. As head of corporate life & pensions (CLP) at Zurich, he transformed CLP into a fast-growing and profitable business.

CLP has now become a major contributor to Life in terms of new business. Mijer also has a consistent record of building global and diverse teams and embedding a client-centric and entrepreneurial mindset within the businesses.

Mijer said, “Cover-More is an agile, innovative and truly customer-centric company and is highly regarded by customers and partners alike. Being part of Zurich has helped Cover-More inits continued expansion. Cover-More’s expertise combined with those of Zurich will also enable us to stay ahead of the changing customer needs, and I look forward to working together with our talented teams and loyal partners and distributors to meet those needs.”

Emporium Hotel South Bank appoints new executive head chef and executive sous chef


One of Australia’s most awarded boutique luxury Hotel brands, Emporium Hotels, has announced the appointment of executive chef, Chris Norman, and executive sous chef (pastry) Alex Liddle, to their brand new South Bank property, with both set to commence in mid-September.

The dynamic husband and wife team have spent the last three years in key roles at Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast, and boast an extensive culinary background in luxury hotels, Michelin Starred restaurants and high-profile Australian eateries.

Norman’s all-encompassing culinary experience spans: five years at Michelin starred restaurants in the UK, including at the two Michelin star restaurant, The Square in Mayfair, London; eight years in five-star luxury hotels, including the world-renowned, The Ritz London, and exclusive destination resort, the One & Only Hayman Island; and one year under Chef Ross Lusted at The Bridge Room in Sydney, which achieved two hats in its first year of operation.

Alex Liddle has been named Executive Sous Chef (Pastry), bringing a likewise notable culinary background, including training at the acclaimed Royal Academy of Culinary Arts in London, where just 30 people are selected for a scholarship under the three Michelin starred chef, Michel Roux Junior each year. Liddle was: Chef de Partie at The Ritz London; pastry chef at Justin North’s Becasse; and head pastry chef for Merivale Group’s Events team where, at just 23 years old, she was involved in developing and creating ground-breaking events from 10-2,500 people.

New recruit focused on making Club Med travel agent sales easier

Zoe Gentle

Club Med has welcomed Zoe Gentle to the Club Med Australia & NZ team! Gentle is the newest business development manager for QLD, NT & New Zealand.

Gentle started her career in travel in 2006. Coming from a family of travellers, she started her first job with Harvey World Travel and through the years moved around the industry. From Flight Centre Head Office, Toll Dnata at Brisbane Airport, as well as Business Development for Contiki Holidays.

Gentle loves everything about travel from exploring new cultures, trying her luck at the local languages, immersing herself in local food but most importantly – creating new friendships. Not only does she love helping agents sell travel, she’s good at it too – Gentle was a finalist at the 2017 NTIA and 2016 Contiki National Sales Manager of the Year.

Naumi Hotels appoints regional general manager


Naumi Hotels, the Singapore-based design hotel group, is pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher McIntosh as regional general manager. McIntosh joins the team following his three years as area general manager of Mantra Group. During his time at Mantra group, he managed eight properties including the flagship property, Peppers Broadbeach.

Prior to this, McIntosh spent over three years working as group general manager at Blackstone Group and was previously group general manager at Eichardt’s Private Hotel, Queenstown and Imperium Collection, New Zealand’s most awarded luxury hotel. In this role, he worked closely with Small Luxury Hotels of the World, took the hotel into profitability, won Hospitality Business of the Year for Queenstown and positioned the hotel to win Hotel of the Year at the HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence in 2013

Speaking about his new position at Naumi Hotels, McIntosh said: “Joining Naumi Hotels as Regional General Manager for Australasia is a particularly exciting opportunity as it is a time of company growth.

“I am thrilled to be overseeing the launches of the group’s three new hotels in Wellington and Sydney, as well as leading the continued success of our newly opened Naumi Auckland Airport, already widely billed as the world’s coolest airport hotel! I am delighted to become part of the brand’s fantastic team.”

Chris Bain, global sales manager, relocates to Brisbane to head up Haka Tourism Group in Oz

Chris Bain photo

Haka Tourism Group swept the 2017 New Zealand Tourism Awards including Business Excellence Award, NZ Tourism Marketing Award, Tourism Industry Champion Award and overall Supreme Tourism Award. Awesome indeed! Now that have re-established a presence here, with Chris Bain, global sales manager, relocating to Brisbane to head up this fast-growing NZ tourism company in Australia.

Bain has eighteen years of ANZ travel industry experience including fifteen of those with Flight Centre as an area manager and two years as a sales & marketing representative for eight South Pacific Hotels and Resorts.

Having taken the role with Haka Tourism Group in September last year, Chris has been tasked with the expansion of the company’s wholesale & retail partnerships.

“As a passionate & proud Kiwi, I’m excited to share my homeland through the amazing portfolio through Ryan Sanders and the team at Haka Tourism Group,” he said.

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