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Movers + Shakers: Steve Richards to head up AmaWaterways’ new AU/NZ office

AmaWaterways is delivering on its commitment to the Australia and New Zealand markets, opening up a regional office next month. Heading up that office is Steve Richards. 

AmaWaterways is delivering on its commitment to the Australia and New Zealand markets, opening up a regional office next month. Heading up that office is Steve Richards. 

An industry veteran, Steve comes from Silversea Cruises within the Royal Caribbean Group where he was the Director of Sales for Australia and New Zealand. In this role, he managed the sales department’s commercial efforts, executed business plans, and motivated the sales team to achieve targets.

Prior to his time at Silversea, he was the General Manager for Australia at Wendy Wu Tours, where he optimised profitability, set strategic plans, and managed a team of 60 staff.

Steve also spent time at Best Western Hotels & Resorts, where his roles encompassed diverse responsibilities. Initially, as the Head of Commercial, he oversaw sales, marketing, and revenue management. Subsequently, as the General Manager of Sales & Marketing, he directed strategies, implemented budgets, and reviewed contractual agreements.

His tenure at The Travel Corporation was marked by adaptability to different brands. He served as the State Sales Manager for AAT Kings and Inspiring Journeys and later as the National Sales Manager for Inspiring Journeys, successfully launching a new brand.

His role as Sales Manager at Creative Holidays showcased his management skills within a diverse travel company. Subsequently, he served as a Sales Executive for Contiki Holidays in the UK and Europe, leading sales strategies for young travellers.

Karryon caught up with Steve to talk about his new role and what it means for him and the industry. 

Why has AmaWaterways opened up an Australian office?

AmaWaterways has broken away from APT who used to charter Ama’s ships and will now sell directly into the AU/NZ market for the first time ever for departures in 2025.

What has drawn you to the role?

The rare and exciting opportunity of launching a start-up company. But one that is already successful and well-established in North America. We get to find an office and build the whole team from scratch. We are writing the next chapter of Ama’s already rich history.

What do you hope to achieve in the new role?

I hope that more Australian and New Zealand travellers will get to experience AmaWaterways incredible service and destinations and that trade partners will find working with us both easy and financially lucrative.

Virtuoso General Manager, Australia and New Zealand Fiona Dalton welcomed the cruise line’s presence Down Under

“We are thrilled to extend a warm welcome to AmaWaterways as the latest addition to our esteemed group of preferred cruise partners in the region,” she said. 

It looks like the AmaWaterways office will be based in Sydney. Stay tuned for more details as they come in.