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.
Ken Orr is taking the helm of New Zealand’s largest hotel, Grand Millennium Auckland. The newly appointed general manager of the hotel has 21 years’ experience with Millennium Hotels and Resorts, including the last nine as GM of Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay.
Sri Lankan destination management company (DMC) Tour Blue is now represented in New Zealand.
Mark Snoxell, of Exposure Down Under, says Tour Blue specialises in both Sri Lanka and the Maldives, concentrating on tailor-made itineraries for families and groups as well as some incentive travel work.
‘Tour Blue works closely with Asia Leisure – a hotel group we also represent here.’ Snoxell says it is advantageous for travel agents to use a DMC in Sri Lanka. ‘There is so much more to be added on if you work with the local experts. It is easy for them to access art, culture, surfing, academics, tea plantations and much more.’
The Tourism Export Council (TEC) Board has appointed Judy Chen to the role of chief executive. Chen moves to TECNZ from the position of director of sales and marketing with the Hotel Grand Chancellor group. Her hotel industry experience will add a new dimension to the evolution of the Tourism Export Council, says outgoing TECNZ chairman Martin Horgan.
Airline Marketing New Zealand has appointed Danielle Caltaux as the dedicated account manager for Air France KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in New Zealand. Caltaux will be responsible for trade partnerships and relationships in the New Zealand market. Her previous position was Business Development Manager for Excite Holidays.
Ken Freer, well known for his previous roles with House of Travel and Tourism Fiji among others, has taken up a fixed contract at Christchurch International Airport. He will lead the airport’s support of Alipay across the South Island and the development of new travel and retail platforms through Alibaba. This follows Christchurch Airport’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Alibaba to connect small and regional New Zealand businesses with Chinese visitors before, during and after their visit.
Ollie Joblin is the new business development manager NZ for both Tucan Travel and Sundowners Overland.
Joblin was previously a travel consultant with Flight Centre and is extensively travelled through Tucan’s ‘territory’ of South America and also in Russia, Mongolia and China – useful when promoting Sundowners’ product such as the trans-Siberian, Vodka Train and Silk Rd.
Todd Barry, general manager of Tucan Travel says New Zealand is a growing market for Tucan and credits at least partially the relatively new Air New Zealand flights into Buenos Aires and Houston – gateways for South America and Central America.
‘We are known as South American experts but we also do tours in North America, Asia, Africa and Europe.’
Adrian Turner is the new group general manager with New Zealand accommodation group, Quest Apartment Hotels. Quest Apartment Hotels New Zealand chief executive officer, Stephen Mansfield, says the new position was created to manage future growth. The group has plans to open up to 10 new properties in New Zealand over the next 24 months.
The government needs to ‘lower its sights’ to make it easier for skilled international travel agents to work in New Zealand, says Andrew Olsen, chief executive of the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ).
Olsen says that try as the industry might, it cannot convince the government that there is a skill shortage in the industry.
‘Visas should be made easier to obtain in this area,’ he says.
Ewan Cao is the new marketing manager for the New Zealand region with Tourism Malaysia.
Cao has experience across tourism and media sectors, most recently with NZME and prior to that in the media division of Tourism New Zealand. A specialist in connecting Asian audiences with New Zealand experiences, he says he is looking forward to working the reverse of this in connecting Kiwis
Vanessa Tjemplon has joined Aircalin as sales executive New Zealand following a company restructure in the wake of Angela Hallett’s departure.
Tjemplon, who will be based in Auckland, has more than 14 years of industry knowledge and experience as well as a deep understanding of New Caledonia and Aircalin’s services.
Meanwhile, Chris Thistlethwaite will assume the role of country manager for New Zealand (in addition to Australia). Thistlethwaite, who has 17 years of experience in the travel industry in sales and management, will continue to manage
Combining traditional service with modern marketing and business is one of the keys to operating a successful independent travel agency, according to an agent who has managed to sustain that status for more than 21 years.
Edith Carpenter, managing director of Planet Earth Travel in Auckland, says having a distinct niche market (in her case the local Filipino community) is another major aspect to longevity as an independent.
By Lisa Bradley
The World Journeys team is living proof enforced change – and a bit of bottle – can lead to success that ultimately feels made to measure.
The company was created by a group of travel colleagues who broke away from Adventure World when the organisation was taken over by Australian corporate giant NMRA in 2007. A decade on, World Journeys is going strong.
But while the takeover provided the impetus for change, the World Journey directors say standing true to the company’s core principle of offering boutique experiences based on specialist knowledge is what has helped it clock up 10
By Julie Cleaver
After 51 years in the travel industry, Donald Foley has decided to end his professional journey and begin a personal one.
Foley, who is currently working as a broker alongside Janet Lewisham, has bought a caravan in Australia and is looking forward to ‘hanging loose’ for six months with his partner.
‘This year my wife Christine and I will travel along the coast of Australia. We can’t wait to be beach bums,’ says Foley while relaxing in his St Heliers home.
Emprendedor, intraprendente, giat... in any language, enterprising is the word to use when describing Kiwi Scott Cardwell’s bid to tear down the language barrier for travellers.
The 28 year old is developing a virtual reality, language-learning app called ImmerseMe, which has caught the eye of NZ Travel Brokers.
Dunedinite Cardwell recently returned from two months of travelling around 10 countries in Europe, Japan, China and Indonesia, where he and videographer Tim Armstrong filmed scenarios such as ordering off a menu for
India, connecting New Zealand and Australia’s capital cities, commemorative events and a whole lot of cake. Lisa Bradley reports on the rise of Simon Turcotte’s Singapore Airlines career.
On 21 September in Wellington this year the buzz was not coming from the Beehive but from the city’s airport where hundreds had gathered to witness the capital’s first long-haul flight.
After 24 years in the travel industry, industry stalwart Alka Thapar is pulling up anchor and heading to greener pastures. Where this maybe, she isn’t really sure, but she says it’s time for a break.
For the past two years, Thapar has been business development manager for Princess Cruises. In her varied industry roles, she has made many great friends and some of them were on the Emerald Princess yesterday to say good-bye.
‘I am sad to go – but it is time. It has been a humbling experience to be able to work with such great people in this industry and hugs all round. The varied personalities I have met during my time have certainly kept things interesting and never boring.’
True retail success can be found in returning customers and happy staff – just ask Chris Harrop, whose people-first attitude is winning him business and the respect of the industry. By Lisa Bradley
Chris Harrop is an agent of the people – he’s the man customers keep returning to for their travel needs and the employer staff very rarely leave.
Harrop is also a man with a ready smile who signs off an email with a cheery ‘toodle pip’. And a travel agent so well liked by his peers he received a standing ovation when he won the TAANZ Best Travel Agency Manager Retail Award in 2014.
Family man, keen rower who once represented Western Australia, head of an airline… and not yet 40. Lisa Bradley meets the man who is delivering AirAsia X back to New Zealand.
AirAsia X chief executive officer Benyamin Ismail’s visit to New Zealand last month was in keeping with the airline – cheerfully executed without fanfare and devoid of weighty corporate hoopla.
Ismail visiting on a brand-building exercise, meeting industry players and the media before the airline kicks off its first flight on March 22 – and making time to take his team bungy jumping off Auckland’s Harbour Bridge.
A little over 25 years ago Bruce Poon Tip arrived home from Thailand disappointed with his first package tour. Knowing he could do a better job, a young Poon Tip set out to fill a gap in the market between all-inclusive bus tours and backpacking, financing his idea with whoever would believe in him, namely Visa.
Now, a mere 25 years later, Poon Tip is the owner of the world’s largest adventure tourism company and author of the best selling book Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business.
G Adventures celebrated its 25th anniversary in December last year, and to mark the occasion launched numerous projects proving game changers for the face of adventure tourism.