Toby Butland is now head of marketing, Haka Tourism Group. Butland kicked of his career as both marketing manager and guide for Franz Josef Glacier Guides, before heading up marketing for tour operator TrekAmerica in the UK. Coming back home to NZ, he had a stint as brand manager at Avis Budget Group, before joining Haka Tours.
Meantime, Chris Bain, sales manager, Haka Tourism Group has moved to Brisbane with the company. Before joining Haka he was with Flight Centre NZ and following that spent two years with Coconuts Travel Marketing. He is tasked with the expansion of Haka Tourism Group’s wholesale and retail global partnerships.
Graham Perry has been appointed managing director of Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Australasia. He was most recently chief executive officer, Inland NSW while previous roles include CEO See Australia, CEO Traveland, managing director Classifieds at Fairfax Media and managing director Utell International.
Tracy Harris is the new business development executive for Francis Travel Marketing.
Residing in Ashburton, she has worked for the past five years with Ballance AgriNutrients as an On Farm Sales Representative and Social Media Ambassador. Harris will be covering the South Island and lower North Island.
The Globus family of brands has announced that long-time travel industry executive, Gai Tyrrell, will take the helm as managing director for the company’s Australasia office in mid-August. Tyrrell most recently held the positions of regional director for Australia and New Zealand, Hawaiian Airlines and Vice President and CEO, Sabre Pacific.
Rocky Mountaineer has announced the appointment of Amber Wilson as director of sales for the Australian and New Zealand markets.
Sarah Hunter has been appointed general manager, GO Holidays in New Zealand. Hunter recently returned to New Zealand after nearly seven years in the UAE where she completed her MBA with Strathclyde University, before taking up a senior leadership role within dnata’s B2C Middle East and India travel business.
Reporting to head of wholesale & inbound, Cinzia Burnes, Hunter will be charged with maximising GO Holiday’s B2B relationships to position them as the wholesaler of choice for New Zealand’s retail travel industry. For Hunter, there will be a ring of familiarity to the role, having previously headed up GO Holidays and worked with the business through the mid 90’s up until 2010. Hunter says however that this is ‘very much a new chapter, as opposed to a return.’ Hunter will commence her new role on 16 July based in the Auckland offices.
Having a passion for selling travel, a commercial background and the guidance of mentors are the keys for a good start in the industry, says Tracey LeeLewis, of helloworld Waipukurau.
Lee-Lewis is a finalist in the TAANZ National Travel Industry Awards 2018 and has been in the travel industry for nine months. She says that having travelled across the world, ‘though there are still many stones unturned,’ she is passionate about making others’ dreams comes true. ‘And working as a lawyer for the 10 years prior to my entry into the travel industry has given me a good commercial understanding of how a successful business operates. Plus with the help and guidance of an inspiring mentor – the helloworld family – I have been able to hit the ground running.’ She says holidays to Australia and the South Pacific are ‘bread and butter’ business. ‘But we also have a strong cruising clientele, river cruising in particular. My involvement in the running of the business will allow my business partner (and mother, Ellen Lee) to focus on tours and escorted group travel.
Richard Birkby is joining Wanaka ski area Treble Cone as Brand Manager. An experienced marketer with 20 years’ experience working for internationally renowned brands in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, Birkby starts his new role in mid-June.
He moved to Wanaka from Sydney, where he worked for leading advertising and marketing agency HOST, nearly five years ago because he wanted to spend more time skiing. In his fiqrst year in Wanaka he commuted weekly to Auckland where he was group business director for world-class creative agency Colenso BBDO, before spending three years as head of brand and marketing at Wanaka-based Mons Royale.
Seeing brokers accepted as true professionals in the travel industry has been one of the most significant (and satisfying) developments for Dave Wallace, who retires as general manager of Travel Managers Group at the end of this year.
Two Flight Centre stalwarts are celebrating 30 years with the company next month – and though their careers within the company have gone in different directions there was an early cross over in their paths. Lynaire (Harry) Monnery is a Flight Centre Travel Broker, based in Thorndon, Wellington. (TRAVELinc Memo published her story last Friday, 11 May.) Sue Matson is national leader – retail brands with the Fight Centre Travel Group based in Wellington.
Sue Matson started with the company at what was originally called Wellington Flight Centre. ‘This was the same name as a flying school based at the airport, which was a bit of an issue when people called to ask if we could teach them to fly – but of course we could! That shop is still operating – it’s changed names and locations a few times and now sits on Willis Street.’ Matson says she was a travel consultant who ‘started knowing nothing and learnt something every day for the six years I spent on the front line.’ Matson has been with Flight Centre Travel Group since then but has had (at last count) something like 10 different jobs in the 30 years. ‘Each one of those roles has taken me out of my comfort zone and challenged my personal belief in my abilities. FCTG has had a knack at believing in me before I have believed in myself and I guess I’ve gone on to prove them right. Anything is possible when someone believes in you and that’s very rewarding.’
Matson says challenges over the years have varied depending on her role. ‘In the front line, customers are the biggest challenge and the greatest reward. Once you realise it is all about building strong and personal relationships with your customers, then you will always find success. It’s about integrity and trust… and a bit of humour.’ In support roles customers ultimately remain the focus she says. ‘However our (Flight Centre) people become the challenge and the joy. The frustration can be where people don’t see the potential in their situation or themselves but the joy and reward is when they get it – and they start to see great personal success and – wow, how they grow. Matson says the leisure travel industry will always be about making the customer experience ‘more and more fabulous – both before, during and after the trip. ‘Technology will play a massive part in bringing all those pieces together, but I feel we will move more towards intimate and rewarding one on one relationships between customers and travel experts. If you ask any customer who has relied upon the skills, knowledge and relationship with a great travel expert over a number of years they will say having this relationship is what makes it work for them.’
Two Flight Centre stalwarts are celebrating 30 years with the company next month – and though their careers within the company have gone in different directions there was an early cross over in their paths. Lynaire (Harry) Monnery is a Flight Centre travel broker, based in Thorndon, Wellington. Sue Matson is national leader – retail brands with the Fight Centre Travel Group based in Wellington.
Adam Armstrong will join Silversea Cruises as managing director Australia & New Zealand. Currently associate vice president & managing director Australia & New Zealand for Royal Caribbean, Armstrong joins Silversea at a time of growth and a period of significant investment in Australia and New Zealand for the cruise line.
Pacific Resort Hotel New Caledonia Group (PRHG) and its partner properties, Moana Sands Group and Royale Takitumu have appointed Victoria Goodwin into a sales representative role.
Goodwin will be working with PRHG’s retail partners in both New Zealand and Australia and will also be running the Pacific Pearls programme, a popular incentive scheme for travel agents selling PRHG properties.
Scenic Hotel Group has appointed Bharath Satyavolu to the newly created position of group director of commercial.
Satyavolu joins the group in its Christchurch head oce from his previous Singapore-based postings with the Oakwood Asia Group and prior to that, the Marina Mandarin Hotel Singapore where he held senior revenue
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Stage and niche supplier presentations, and another 20 suppliers in sessions for a ‘speed dating’ type format around a wing of the Trinity Wharf Hotel in Tauranga all added up to a busy two and a half days for attendees at the Travel Managers Group Conference.
Travel Managers Group has a new general manager in the hot seat, Catherine McLeod, succeeding David Wallace who announced his departure late last year.
She joins the TMG family with over 17 years’ experience in the travel industry, having started her career as a retail travel consultant for E Travel, before joining Escape Holidays and then GO Holidays McLeod has had many
The World Travellers Board is considering its future needs and ‘thinking about the next phase of development’, following the departure of chief executive officer Eden Stevenson.
Craig Corbett, chairman of World Travellers, says Stevenson has decided to make a move to Taupo and seek opportunities there. ‘Change is inevitable and Eden has left the company in good shape,’ adds Corbett.
With development in full swing, Sudima Christchurch City now has a new hotel manager to lead the charge – Maree Welgus.
Welgus is currently executive assistant manager for Sudima Lake Rotorua, and is an experienced industry professional.
Having an aviation buff as a husband has led Tauranga based travel broker Melanie Salisbury to establish an innovative and successful niche in her business.
Having started with Frontier Travel (later acquired by Travel Managers Group) 12 years ago, Salisbury recalls looking for ideas when the company launched a new website.
Becoming a broker after a number of years away from retailing has been made easier by the availability of new technology, according to a broker who returned to the ‘front-line’ just over a year ago.
Mark Hutchinson joined NZ Travel Brokers about a year ago.
Although his background does include considerable retail and wholesale experience, he was on the supplier side of the industry (including 15 years at Air Tahiti Nui) before taking the broker plunge.
Hamilton-based Sarah Weaver had only been a broker with Travel Managers Group (TMG) for seven months when she won the group’s Marketing Achievement Award last year and she says communication and engagement with customers are key to success.
‘In the early couple of months, while building my client base, I had the time to set up my Facebook business page and put a lot of thought into how I wanted it to look; learnt a lot about good content and how to get engagement and reach to make my posts seen, when to post and who
Thai Airways New Zealand recently appointed Nigel Taylor sales manager, New Zealand. He has extensive Industry experience and relationships through roles in fares and ticketing, GSA and airlines as well as more recently in Global Distribution Systems (GDS) with Sabre Travel Network.
‘Thai Airways is committed to the New Zealand market and with the appointment of Nigel Taylor to our team we look forward to working closely with our trade partners,’ says Khun Karun Sirarojanakul, general manager New Zealand.
Wendy Wu, a specialist in Asia travel, has promoted Paul Dymond to managing director of its New Zealand operations.
The announcement was made at the company’s 2017 Global Conference in Delhi recently, where Dymond was highly commended for his achievements and impressive sales performance within New Zealand.
Dymond is promoted from his role as general manager, a position he has held for the last two years and is tasked with leading the New Zealand arm of the business through its continued stages of digital transformation
Driving the cruise strategy for the House of Travel Group, including retail and digital channels, is a key responsibility of Jeff Leckey in his new role.
As reported in a One Minute Memo yesterday, Leckey is now general manager cruise for the House of Travel Group.
He will work closely with cruise line partners and with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) with a goal to growing the New Zealand cruise market. Increasing the network of HOT cruise consultants around New
Brooke Serene, the boutique hotel management group, has promoted Georgina Torrington director of sales and marketing.
Previously marketing manager for the company, Torrington will provide the strategic direction of marketing, media, sponsorship and sales initiatives for the group as well as look after Christchurch and Canterbury based clientele.
Meantime, Simone de Jong has been named business development manager and will look after relationships with travel agents, wholesalers and inbound tour operators.
The travel industry will be saying a fond ‘Bon Voyage’ to an iconic member of the travel industry later next month.
Betty Wakelin, affectionately known as ‘Mrs Travel Te Awamutu’, is retiring.
It won’t be easy for her to step away from the desk as she is passionate about travel, and loves her clients. Leaving will be hard; retirement has never been a word that she has embraced and Wakelin is still recognised as a
After 21 years on the go, colleagues, friends and industry partners said goodbye to Adventure World’s general manager Dave Nicholson last night, as he plans to tackle new adventures.
A well-known leader in the New Zealand travel industry, Nicholson has flown the Adventure World flag at countless industry functions and agency famils.
He plans to take a year out to travel and spend quality time with his family.
Exotic Holidays has a new recruit in its operations team Dhan Dewage has joined as a team leader.
Originally from Sri Lanka he graduated in Tourism and Travel Management and has over five years of experience working with Total Holiday Options and Qatar Airways.
Kelly Eichholtz is now area director of sales and marketing New Zealand with IHG New Zealand.
Based at Crowne Plaza Auckland, Eichholtz is responsible for building and developing InterContinental Hotel Group’s (IHG) New Zealand-based sales, marketing and revenue teams.