Industry movements: new appointments at Malaysia Airlines, TravelManagers, Entire and more!

Industry movements: new appointments at Malaysia Airlines, TravelManagers, Entire and more!

Get your fill of movers, shakers and big money makers in our weekly round-up of industry appointments.

APT Travel Group parent company welcomes new board member

Peter Liney, APH’s as newest non-executive board member

The APT Travel Group’s parent company, Australian Pacific Holdings (APH), has welcomed Peter Liney as its newest non-executive board member.

With a career spanning over three decades, Liney is well-known in the UK travel market after heading up Great Rail Journeys as CEO for over nine years.

Based in the UK, he has also held senior leadership positions across various travel companies including with tour operators, global travel agent networks, OTAs and airlines.

Malaysia Airlines’ appointment to amplify growth in NZ

Malaysia Airlines has appointed Ian Herald as sales account manager for New Zealand.

Herald is an airline industry veteran, having held senior positions with a number of high-profile aviation brands, most recently at Cathay Pacific and Philippine Airlines.

He is also highly regarded within the New Zealand travel industry and his new role will focus on profitable revenue generation and managing relationships with all trade and corporate partners.

TravelManagers adds seventh state-based business partnership manager to support team

Marketing support will be a key component of Jackie Sommers’ new role as Victoria BPM, in conjunction with TravelManagers’ marketing manager, Tania Myles (left)

A travel industry veteran with more than twenty years of experience has become the latest addition to TravelManagers’ national partnership office (NPO) team.

Jackie Sommers has been named as Business Partnership Manager (BPM) for Victoria, joining an existing team of six BPMs who between them provide support and mentoring to personal travel managers (PTMs) in every Australian state and territory.

As part of her induction process, Sommers spent time familiarising herself with a broad range of NPO support roles ranging from accounts support and operations to marketing, fares & ticketing and the Tramada support team.

Entire Travel Group appoints new BDM

Entire BDM Roberta Abbondanza

Entire Travel Group has tapped Roberta Abbondanza as its new business development manager.

Abbondanza is now responsible for reaching out to travel advisors across Australia and bringing them up to speed with Entire Travel Group’s new post-COVID business model, which focuses on pre-designed, independent package holidays, all bookable 24/7 online.

After joining Italian specialist CIT Holidays in 2017 as a reservations consultant, Abbondanza became part of Entire Travel Group when the company acquired CIT in 2018.

Since then, she has held a variety of roles, including team leader, and most recently, travel and product advisor.

Virtuoso names Cory Hagopian as senior VP of sales & partnerships 

Virtuoso has named Cory Hagopian as senior vice president of sales & partnerships.

Hagopian will oversee Virtuoso’s member relations and partner teams, including cruise, hotels and resorts and destinations and experiences, as Virtuoso continues to expand globally. He is reporting to chief operating officer, Brad Bourland.

Hagopian will be responsible for setting and driving the strategy to increase the network’s global sales production, optimizing Virtuoso products and services while also continuing to build on the strong partner and member relationships to further enhance the company’s competitive position and shared value proposition.

Most recently, Hagopian oversaw the entertainment division for Accor and previously was responsible for sales effectiveness with a focus on sales incentive plans, data analytics and reporting.

Dividing time between his home office in Florida and Virtuoso’s New York office, Hagopian will oversee teams based in New York, Seattle and Florida as well as remotely. His first order of business includes participation in Virtuoso’s Chairman’s Recognition event in Munich, where he will join his fellow senior leadership members in celebrating the network’s most engaged and top-producing agencies and advisors.

Travellers Choice expands network across Hunter Region

Travellers Choice’s newest member, Nerelle Cook

Travellers Choice is further expanding its national network, with Cessnock-based Next Travels the latest independent business drawn to the award-winning group’s unrivalled member support.

Established by owner Narelle Cook in 2008, Next Travels is located in the heart of historic Cessnock, the largest town in the Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest wine-growing region.

The Cathay Pacific Group announces new CEO + snr management appointments 

Lavinia Lau, Cathay Pacific chief customer and commercial officer-designate

Augustus Tang, CEO of Cathay Pacific, will retire from the Cathay Pacific Group on 31 December 2022, assuming a new role at John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Ltd.

Ronald Lam (featured image), chief customer and commercial officer, will be appointed CEO effective 1 January 2023. He will continue to serve as Chair of HK Express.

Lavinia Lau, director of customer travel, will be appointed chief customer and commercial officer, replacing Lam, and will also be appointed executive director on the board of Cathay Pacific effective 1 January 2023.

Erica Peng, currently general manager of planning at Cathay Pacific, will succeed Lau and is appointed director of customer travel effective 1 January 2023.

Alex McGowan, director of service delivery, will be appointed chief operations and service delivery officer and also an executive director on the board of Cathay Pacific effective 1 April 2023 upon Hughes’ retirement from the board. ​ McGowan will also be appointed chair of Cathay Pacific’s wholly owned all-cargo airline, Air Hong Kong, replacing Hughes.

Mandy Ng, currently CEO of the Cathay Pacific Group’s wholly owned low-cost carrier HK Express, will return to Cathay Pacific and succeed McGowan as director service delivery effective 1 April 2023.

Jeanette Mao, currently general manager of inflight services at Cathay Pacific, will succeed Ng as HK Express CEO effective 1 April 2023.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World welcomes Martin Rinck to the executive board

Martin Rinck, the newest member of SMH’s board

Small Luxury Hotels of the World Ltd (SLH) has welcomed Martin Rinck to the executive board.

Rinck is a seasoned hospitality executive with over 35 years of global experience in strategy, operations, business development, P&L and brand management, having held leadership positions at some of the world’s largest hospitality companies and bringing extensive business, talent, and stakeholder management expertise.

Most recently, Rinck was the EVP & chief brand officer at Hilton, where he led a portfolio of 18 award-winning brands across 6.5K+ hotels globally, developing and executing the enterprise portfolio strategy, while at the same time leading multiple ESG initiatives for the company.

As a member of the executive board, Rinck will be integral in supporting the Shamoon family’s strategic vision and growth plan for SLH, along with their continued expansion of independently owned and operated properties.

Marriot International’s fantastic four 

Liza Bajracharya, Marriott International’s new market director of sales for Asia

Marriott International has announced four stellar appointments to its sales team as the company prepares for a boom in international business in 2023.

The first in the string of new sales team appointments, Karryn Cutcheon who has been with Marriott since 2005, re-joins the team as regional director of global sales for Australia and New Zealand. Cutcheon will report to Ramesh Daryanani, vice president of global sales and will lead sales performance by keeping the team energised and focused on supporting Marriott’s valued customers.

The other key appointments are industry experts and include Joo-Rei Mathieson taking on the role of market director of sales – Western Markets, Liza Bajracharya who assumes the same responsibility for Asia as market director of sales – Asia, and Takashi Sogabe who has been appointed market senior sales manager. All three exceptional hires will report to Ashley Hansen, senior area director of sales & distribution, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

GCCEC hires new director of sales 

Sally Hein, GCCEC’s new director of sales

The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) has announced the appointment of Sally Hein as director of sales.

Hein brings extensive experience in the tourism and business events industries and an impressive track record to the role. She will be responsible for the team driving domestic and international sales activities and report directly to the general manager, Adrienne Readings.

CWT appoints Victoria Berwick as global marketing director

Victoria Berwick, global marketing director at CWT

CWT has appointed Victoria Berwick to the newly created vice president role of global marketing director.

The UK-based position carries a remit to spearhead all brand-, customer-, digital-, event- and product-marketing initiatives, and further develop innovative channels to market.

Prior to her appointment, Berwick was global marketing director with Reed & Mackay Travel Ltd., where she was globally responsible for marketing strategy, brand management, and digital marketing amongst other disciplines.

She previously held senior marketing roles with professional services firms EY, Grant Thornton, PWC, and SNR Denton, other communications responsibilities at Bank of New York and CIBC Mellon, in addition to interim global marketing positions with WTT Group and YTKO Group.

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