People Updates

InterContinental Fiji new appointment

Javed Shameem has been appointed business development executive at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa, Fiji. Part of his responsibilities will be to dive the resort’s performance in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) markets. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, having previously spent three years at Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa.

Shameem will be based at the resort's sister property, Holiday Inn Suva.

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New appointments at Outrigger Hotels & Resorts

Outrigger Hotels & Resorts has announced new sales and marketing appointments as a result of its expansion activity through Asia Pacific.

Andrew Gee has been appointed regional director of sales and marketing for Australia and New Zealand. Previously director of sales and marketing for Outrigger on the Lagoon • Fiji, Gee is based in Sydney in his new role where he will focus on the Australian and New Zealand outbound markets for all Outrigger properties.

Karen Marvell has been promoted from head of sales and marketing for Castaway Island to director of sales and marketing for both Castaway Island and Outrigger on the Lagoon • Fiji, also based in Sydney. She has worked in the Fiji travel industry for 25 years and previous to her role at Castaway she owned The Group Travel Company handling conference, incentive and special interest groups to Fiji.

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New at Club Med

Club Med has appointed Jodie Weeks as New Zealand business development manager. She will be based in Australia and visit New Zealand frequently out on the road talking to travel agents nationwide. Her main objective is to educate travel agents on Club Med’s premium resort offering, the all-inclusive concept and its ever-evolving products.

This year alone Club Med is opening new resorts at Dong’Ao off the coast of Macau and at Val Thorens ski resort in France with refurbishments scheduled and/or underway at a number of other resorts.

The appointment of Weeks follows Club Med opening up direct sales channel to all travel partners in New Zealand late last year, and appointing Brendon King Club Med New Zealand Groups Manager, assisted by Joey Templin, both dedicated solely to the Club Med Groups and Incentives market.

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New at Sydney Airport

Sydney Airport has appointed Ann Sherry as non-executive director, effective May 1, following the recent retirement of Bob Morris.

Sherry has extensive business experience in tourism, transport and financial services, specialising in customer focused business.

Sherry is currently CEO of Carnival Australia and is a non-executive director of Jawun-Indigenous Corporate Partnerships, ING Direct (Australia), The Myer Family Company Holdings and Australian Rugby Union, as well as Chair of Safe Work Australia and Deputy Chair of the Cruises Line Industry Association (CLIA) Australasia.

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Cobern takes on new challenge at Choice

Aileen Cobern has been appointed to a newly created position of general manager, distribution and revenue for Choice Hotels Australasia. She will be responsible for the coordination, functional management and leadership of sales, ecommerce distribution and revenue management activities in line with Choice Hotels’ business plan.


Cobern has been at the forefront of sales and marketing for Choice Hotels for the past 16 years and steps into the role with a wealth of industry knowledge and extensive experience at Choice Hotels.

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New at Rail Plus

Rail Plus has appointed Kirsty Blows to the newly-created Auckland-based role of sales and marketing manager, New Zealand, effective March 3.

Over the past seven years, Blows has held a number of senior sales and operational positions within Rail Plus, most recently as the company’s sales manager, Victoria, based in Melbourne.

She will be responsible for growing sales across the New Zealand market and will liaise closely with trade partners and undertake a range of activities to support travel consultants.

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Strickland to Tanoa Apia

Jason Strickland has been appointed general manager of the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel in Apia. Strickland will be responsible for the hotel's operational and financial performance, as well as the performance of its local personnel development programmes.

His professional career extends to the Pacific Islands, Asia and Africa at some of the larger international hotels.

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New at World Journeys

World Journeys has appointed two new travel designers. Tony O’Callaghan has 27 years of travel industry experience and was previously at Destinations Adventure, representing Imaginative Traveller. He has travelled to over 70 countries, many to the World Journeys portfolio.


Zoe Clarke is the junior travel designer, bringing experience gained from working and living in North America and the UK. She has also travelled to many of World Journeys' key destinations.

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Collins to Cooks

Cook Islands Tourism has appointed Sarah Collins to the position of sales ambassador, acting as the liaison for all trade related matters.

Her role includes calling upon travel agencies around the North Island, conducting training sessions for travel agents and wholesalers and driving the Cook Islands new Specialist Programme.

Collins was most recently with Virgin Australia and previously Mondo Travel.

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Garrie to Tourism Victoria role

Joanna Garrie has been appointed as the New Zealand regional manager for Tourism Victoria effective immediately. She will be based in Auckland for a two year secondment.

Garrie has 11 years’ experience at the Tourism Victoria head office in Melbourne and has held several roles in the international marketing division, most recently holding the position of business development manager for New Zealand and North America.

New Zealand continues to be a key priority for Victoria, rating as the second largest inbound market next to China based on visitation and yield. Tourism Victoria has been operating in New Zealand for more than twenty years.

Garrie says she is looking forward to getting started in the new role and continuing the successful activity undertaken by Tourism Victoria in New Zealand.

'Tourism Victoria is committed to continuing its brand campaign activity in the New Zealand market and I look forward to collaborating with key industry partners to motivate Kiwis to keep on exploring Victoria.'

One of Garrie's first projects will be to spearhead the Play Melbourne and Play Beyond Melbourne campaigns for May/June this year.

Garrie’s qualifications include a Graduate Diploma in Tourism and a Master of International Relations from Monash University. She is currently undertaking a Master of Business Administration from Deakin University.

The Tourism Victoria New Zealand Office is located on Level 3 / 125 The Strand Parnell, Auckland.

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Serko Appoints Tim Bluett as CFO

Serko, the Australasian online travel booking and expense management for business, has appointed Tim Bluett to the position of chief financial officer.

Bluett is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 20 years’ experience in the ICT industry. He has an international background, with experience working in the UK, USA, France, Caribbean and New Zealand. As a strategic leader.

Prior to joining Serko, he spent five years with Telecom New Zealand as CFO Technology & Shared Services, CFO Telecom Retail, and more recently as Acting Group CFO.

Bluett took up the position of CFO on September last year and is based in Serko’s global head office in Auckland.

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New face for PAICE

Nastassia Dykman is event coordinator for the Pacific Area Incentives and Conference Expo (PAICE), being held on November 19 at SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre.

She will also work on other events in the ProMag Publishing portfolio, including Convene Queensland.

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