Tourism

Flavour of the Week: RCL’s big restructure, Celebrity Cruises’ historic all-female team + MORE!

There are three things that matter most on a Friday: Flavour of the Week, industry gossip and a few bottles of rosé. Two of those come standard, but we suggest drinking the other while reading this.

RCL to restructure local operations to bolster three brands

RCL has announced changes to its local operations to strengthen Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara in Australia and New Zealand.

A new trade sales structure will see the creation of dedicated single brand teams to better support trade partners and take advantage of opportunities within the region’s growing cruise sector.

Gavin Smith, local managing director of RCL, will continue to lead Royal Caribbean. While Susan Bonner (pictured above) will oversee the search for a managing director for Celebrity Cruises in Australia and New Zealand.

Bonner will also establish a team dedicated to bringing modern luxury to local cruise travellers.

Azamara will be bolstered with new local sales resources and international support to connect Australian and New Zealand guests with the brand’s destination-focused land and sea experiences.

Celebrity Cruises to #BRIDGEthegap with all-female bridge and officer team

Celebrity Cruises will set sail with an industry-first all-female team on International Women’s Day (8 March 2020).

Taking place aboard the brand’s newest ship, Celebrity Edge, the vessel will be helmed by captain Kate McCue – the first American female cruise ship captain – who will be accompanied by 26 other women to create an all-female bridge and officer leadership team. Moreover, the team helm from 17 different countries.

Celebrity’s President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, will also take part in the sailing.

The announcement follows on from the modern luxury brand’s commitment to lead the industry into a more diverse future with its #BRIDGEthegap initiative. Currently, 22 per cent of Celebrity Cruises’ bridge teams are women.

Travelport announces new chief financial officer

Nick Bray has been welcomed as Travelport’s new chief financial officer (CFO). Bray will be based in Travelport’s global headquarters in Langley, Berkshire, United Kingdom.

As CFO, Bray will play a fundamental role in the execution of Travelport’s strategy, focused on a strong business partnership approach and process excellence across the finance organisation.

Most recently, Bray served as CFO of Sophos, a role he held for nine years, which follows more than 25 years in the technology sector.

Noreen Henry joins Sojern as chief revenue officer

Sojern has announced Noreen Henry has joined the company as chief revenue officer (CRO), overseeing all global sales and account management teams servicing 8,500 travel clients in more than 100 countries.

Bringing more than 25 years of experience to the role, Henry will be tasked with accelerating the growth of Sojern’s hotel marketing solutions globally and deepening relationships with enterprise travel customers. She will play a key role in expansion into growth areas like tourism and the attraction space.

Henry brings more than two decades of travel experience to Sojern, after previously serving as CEO of WayBlazer, an artificial intelligence travel technology start up; and chief revenue officer at DHISCO.

John Diddams departs Experience Co.

Experience Co. Limited has announced non-executive director John Diddams has advised the board he will be resigning as director of the company at the end of December 2019, to pursue other opportunities.

Diddams has been a non-executive director of the company since prior to the IPO and listing of the company on the ASX in March 2015. He served as chair of the Audit & Risk Committee during that time and from April to October 2018 as chair of the board.

Experience Co. said Diddams was “instrumental” in the successful listing of the company.

Singita appoints new general manager of conservation

Singita has announced the appointment of Inge Kotze as general manager: conservation.

Inge replaces Neil Midlane, former GM: conservation projects and Mark Witney, Singita’s former CEO: conservation. Inge will oversee the all-woman conservation team, which is responsible for Singita’s biodiversity and sustainability initiatives, as well as its community partnership programmes.

Inge joins after serving as senior manager of conservation integration at World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) South Africa’s environmental programmes.

In her 10 years with WWF, Inge held various positions, including developing and leading the WWF sustainable agriculture programme, as well as coordinating an innovative land stewardship partnership between the wine industry and the conservation sector known as the biodiversity and wine initiative.

Ovolo Hotels joins Élysée Collective

Élysée Collective has been appointed as the Australian and New Zealand public relations agency for Ovolo Hotels, with the group joining the agency’s client collective of contemporary lifestyle and travel brands.

Ovolo Hotels joins Élysée Collective’s portfolio that also includes Aman, Soneva, Perrier-Jouët Sisley Paris, Creed, David Mallett, Bawah Reserve, Resplendent Ceylon and Fivelements.

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