Tourism

Flavour of the Week: Virgin Australia director resigns, new boss for Airbnb Experiences + MORE!

The ‘rise and fall’ is the thème du jour of this week’s Flavour of the Week. For maximum immersion, Travel Weekly recommends reading it in an elevator or while using a squat rack.

Catherine Powell to lead Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb has announced the appointment of Catherine Powell (pictured above) as head of Airbnb Experiences.

In this role, Powell will serve on Airbnb’s executive team and lead Airbnb’s Experiences business, managing a team spanning five continents that works to grow the number of high-quality offerings available to travellers, and support Airbnb Experiences’ hosts.

A veteran of the Walt Disney Company, Powell has lived and worked around the world over the last two decades to deliver immersive experiences to guests.

Her appointment comes as consumers, particularly Millennials and Generation Z, are increasingly choosing to spend their time and money on local, authentic experiences rather than on consumer goods.

Virgin Australia Holdings director resigns

Mark Chellew (Cleanaway)

Mark Chellew has stepped down from his role as non-executive director of the board of the Virgin Australia Group, due to “work commitments”, Virgin Australia Holdings announced in an ASX statement.

Chellew’s resignation took effect on 29 January, with the board giving thanks to his “valuable contribution to the company” and wished him all the best for his future endeavours.

David Cant joins American Airlines as sales manager for Australia and NZ

David Cant (American Airlines)

American Airlines is pleased to announce that David Cant has been appointed sales manager for Australia and New Zealand.

Cant, who started with American at the beginning of January, is leader of the American Airlines Australia and New Zealand sales teams.

He also oversees the performance of the recently announced Qantas and American Airlines Joint Business, acting as a senior partner to team leads across both organisations.

Cant joins American after five years with Qantas, where he was first senior manager business development, before being promoted to his most recent role as commercial manager New Zealand in June 2018.

Prior to that, Cant spent five years at Coca-Cola Australia where he held a number of commercial roles.

Shane Jacobson joins Melbourne Avalon Airport as brand ambassador

Avalon Airport: New ambassador Shane Jacobson at Avalon Airport celebrates the inaugural Citilink flight from Bali – a new low cost daily direct flight to Denpasar Bali for Victorians. (Nicole Cleary)

Melbourne’s Avalon Airport has today enlisted one of Australia’s most loved personalities, Shane Jacobson, as ambassador to spearhead its brand awareness campaign in 2020.

The award-winning personality, presenter, and star of Kenny (2006) and The Dressmaker (2015) will front Avalon Airport’s marketing campaign to showcase the “great benefits” that come with flying at the Australian-owned airport, located just 50 kilometres from Melbourne CBD.

Hilton Dili Palm Springs announces leadership appointments

Hilton Dili Palm Springs has announced the appointment of key leadership positions in the lead-up to its opening in the third quarter of this year.

General manager: Ryan Mikkelson

A 24-year hospitality veteran, Ryan Mikkelson began his career with Hilton in Auckland in 2004 and held various roles across operations and business development functions.

Executive chef: Esteban Gomes

Esteban Gomes joins the team as Executive Chef with more than nine years of international culinary experiences, most recently at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah as head chef after holding several roles in Dubai, New York and his home country of Chile.

Commercial manager: Louise Kitchingham

Louise Kitchingham oversees the commercial operations for the hotel as the commercial manager. In her role, she will focus on developing and implementing the commercial strategy for the hotel, including creating revenue generation strategies for all market segments.

Human resources manager: Aziza Fazrina

Aziza Fazrina leads the recruitment, training, talent and culture development for the hotel, after joining the team with nine years of previous experience in human resources, most recently at Hilton Garden Inn Bali Ngurah Rai Airport where she implemented the HR strategy for the hotel.

Former Starwood Hotels CEO to join board at Sonder

Frits van Paasschen (Sonder)

Frits van Paasschen has joined the board of alternative accommodations brand Sonder as the company pushes ahead with ambitious plans for 2020.

For many months, van Paasschen has served as an informal advisor to Sonder while the company applied “powerful technology” and “revolutionary design” to pioneer an entirely new category of accommodations.

“In 2019, Sonder raised a $225M Series D round that valued the company at just north of one billion dollars, we announced an expansion into more traditional hotel formats, and doubled the number of markets where we operate with over 14,000 spaces around the world,” Sonder said in a statement.

“We’re excited that Frits will now be helping to guide our growth and innovation in an official capacity, just as he’s done for many other globally recognized brands.”

Featured image: Catherine Powell leads Airbnb Experiences (Airbnb)

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