Travel Agents

Flavour of the Week: Booking Holdings’ management shake-up, AWA wins Maldives account, Port Macquarie appoints Gate 7 + more!

There have been some grandiose movements locally and globally in the travel industry of late. Almost as grandiose as our editor’s quadruple-shot espresso with two marshmallows this morn.

Booking Holdings announces leadership transition at

Glenn Fogel
Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel

Booking Holdings has announced that Gillian Tans (featured image) has been appointed to the role of chairwoman of and Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking Holdings, will take on an expanded role that includes CEO of, effective immediately.

Tans was appointed CEO of in 2016. Prior to that, Tans served as’s president and chief operating officer, a role she was appointed to in 2011, as well as other positions at the helm of’s global sales, operations, IT, content and customer care departments.

Anne Wild, managing director, AWA
Anne Wild, managing director, AWA

Fogel is the CEO and president of Booking Holdings. Prior to becoming CEO, he served as head of worldwide strategy and planning, a position he held from November 2010 to December 2016. Prior to that he served as executive vice president, Corporate Development, responsible for worldwide mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances. He joined Booking Holdings in February 2000.

Visit Maldives the latest account win for travel and lifestyle PR specialists AWA

Independent public relations and communications agency Anne Wild & Associates (AWA) continues to expand its Travel & Lifestyle division with the addition of a major new travel client, Visit Maldives.

The Visit Maldives programme remit also includes a trade relations component, and AWA will be working collaboratively with its travel trade partner, Luxury Travel Ambassadors (LTA), to drive this aspect of the program.

Over the past 18 months, AWA’s Travel & Lifestyle division has won a number of new clients, including the elite Myconian Collection portfolio of nine properties in Mykonos; and Fullerton Hotels & Resorts, which includes The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore, and The Fullerton Hotel Sydney which will open in October.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council appoints Gate 7

Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council – driving tourism growth to the Greater Port Macquarie region on New South Wales’ Mid North Coast – has appointed tourism marketing agency, Gate 7 following a competitive pitch.

The contract will see Gate 7 work with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to deliver its overall domestic tourism communications strategy, driving awareness of the region through an integrated program that aligns content, PR, social media, influencer engagement, and consumer marketing activity.

Abercrombie & Kent farewells New Zealand country manager Wendy D’Arcy

Abercrombie & Kent New Zealand country manager Wendy D’Arcy is leaving the company after four years during which time the company’s operations have seen “remarkable growth”.  A&K is currently recruiting for a country manager based in Auckland.

Former Tatts Group CFO Neale O’Connell appointed as CTM’s new global CFO

Corporate Travel Management Limited (CTM) has announced the appointment of former long-term Tatts executive and chief financial officer, Neale O’Connell, to the role of global CFO, effective 9 July 2019.

O’Connell succeeds Steve Fleming who, after ten years as CTM’s Global CFO, will manage finalisation of the Group’s 2019 full year financial accounts and then hand-over to Mr O’Connell. As announced in May this year, Fleming will focus entirely on his new role as CFO Europe where he has been based since 2016.

CLIA boosts agent support with new appointments

Joanne Nichols & Robyn de Wit
Robyn de Wit has been appointed to the role of membership development manager; Joanne Nichols has been appointed as instructional design and development manager.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has boosted its Australasian team with two new appointments to support its travel agent membership and corporate partners.

Robyn de Wit has been appointed to the role of membership development manager to provide increased engagement with CLIA’s travel agent members. She will be responsible for growing the CLIA member base and engaging with the existing membership, while also providing support and development to maximise membership benefits.

Robyn has more than 20 years’ experience in the travel industry and training sector, having begun her career as a top-selling cruise agent in Perth with Travelscene before relocating to Sydney where she has worked across various roles including sales, business development and  operations as well as training and development for companies such as Energy Travel, RAC, Creative Holidays, TravelEdge, QBE and JLT.

Joanne Nichols has been appointed as instructional design & development manager, taking a leading role in developing new educational opportunities for travel agent members. Joanne will be responsible for introducing new technology to CLIA’s extensive Learning Academy, bringing the latest in design and interactivity to an expanding education platform.

Joanne has a background in education, e-learning and technology, having held training and development roles at a range of organisations. She was most recently senior e-learning developer and instructional designer at construction giant Lendlease.

Accor movers and shakers: New general manager appointments

Pictured (L to R): Tom Cykowski, Dougal McConnell, Silvester Toth, Edmond Power
Pictured (L to R): Tom Cykowski, Dougal McConnell, Silvester Toth, Edmond Power

Tom Cykowski has been appointed General manager at ibis Styles East Perth. Since he relocated from the United Kingdom in 2009, Cykowski has held the role of general manager at hotels across Western Australia.

Dougal McConnell has been appointed general manager at Mantra Charles Hotel in Launceston, Tasmania. McConnell has worked across various hotels within Accor for over 19 years.

Silvester Toth has been appointed general manager at ibis Styles Kalgoorlie. Toth started his hospitality journey in the food and beverage department at the Heritage Hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Edmond Power has been appointed general manager at Novotel Newcastle Beach. Prior to this, Power spent four years in the role of franchise operations manager for the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.

The masters of Enchanted Princess Captain Nick Nash and Captain Gennaro Arma
Enchanted Princess’ Captain Nick Nash and Captain Gennaro Arma

Princess Cruises appoints leadership team for Enchanted Princess a year before officially setting sail in June 2020

Princess Cruises has announced the leadership team for its newest ship, Enchanted Princess, a year before its debut. Captain Nick Nash and captain Gennaro Arma will rotate as captains of Enchanted Princess.

Debuting in Rome (Civatevecchia) on June 19, 2020 for a nine-day Mediterranean cruise, Enchanted Princess will be led by a team of executive officers with extensive maritime experience, including more than 160 years combined service with Princess Cruises. Captain Nash will bring the ship into service from the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, joined at the launch by chief engineer officer Ignazio Cappelluti, hotel general manager Dirk Brand, and staff captain Raffaele Di Martino.

Captain Arma will serve together with chief engineer officer Massimiliano Imperiale, hotel general manager Richard Harry, and staff captain Richard Dalton.

Andrea Robinson

Andrea Robinson unveiled as new APAC travel and business development director for Disney Destinations

Today, Andrea Robinson joins the Disney Parks, experiences and products team in Sydney as the new APAC travel & business development director. Robinson will lead the Australia/ New Zealand office of Disney Destinations and will be responsible for new business development in Southeast Asia and India.

Robinson brings more than fifteen years of experience in leadership roles within the travel and tourism industry, after holding the role of country director, National Geographic Travel ANZ.

McLachlan Tours appoints Jess Stebnicki as internal PR and marketing guru

Jess Stebnicki - headshot

With over 10 years agency and freelancing experience working with travel brands including Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Visit Newcastle, Singapore Tourism Board, lebua Hotels & Resorts, as well as a diverse portfolio of lifestyle brands, Jess Stebnicki joins McLachlan Tours to drive forward marketing and publicity for Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours, McLachlan European Holidays and Discover Asia, as well as acting as production assistant for Mat McLachlan’s Living History podcast channel.


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