It’s been a big week in the travel industry with people moving up and on from previous positions into new and exciting gigs.

So, who got a new gig this week? Check out this week’s travel industry movers & shakers below or click here to check out last week’s new appointments.


1. Movers & Shakers… COMO Cocoa Island’s Sales Director

Movers & Shakers Euan Blake

COMO Hotels and Resorts is pleased to announce the appointment of Euan Blake as Regional Director of Sales for its two Maldivian resorts. Blake will be based at COMO Maalifushi on the Thaa Atoll, South of Male, and will be responsible for the MEA and APAC regions.

Holding a BA in Hospitality Management, Blake’s career started in food and beverage before moving into cruise lines and subsequently corporate real estate, working on commercial, retail and leisure projects. In one of his most recent roles, Blake was instrumental in the communications strategy for the construction of W Hotel London, before focusing his career on sales and marketing.

Pietro Addis, General Manager of COMO Maalifushi said: “Euan’s drive and creativity seamlessly compliments our goals for our two Maldivian properties. With a wealth of experience in sales and marketing, his unique skills will support our resorts as leading destinations in the Indian Ocean and we look forward to him joining the team.'”


2. Movers & Shakers… Tourism Tropical North Queensland Board’s Director

Movers & Shakers Untitled-2

North Queensland Airports Chief Executive Officer Norris Carter has been appointed a Director of the Tourism Tropical North Queensland Board at its meeting in Cairns this month.

New General Directors Sam Ferguson and Craig Pocock were welcomed to the Board after their election at the Annual General Meeting on Friday (October 20).

Chair Max Shepherd stepped down at the end of his three-year term and the Board confirmed the appointment of Director Wendy Morris as Chair. Cairns South Zone representative Ross Steele was re-elected Deputy Chair.

Ms Morris said Mr Carter’s appointment would add a vital skillset to the Board through his extensive airline and airport industry experience with Qantas, Auckland Airport, Cairns and Mackay Airports.

“Aviation is the funnel for visitation to Tropical North Queensland and a key plank for economic success for the region,” she said.

“If the TTNQ Board can understand the drivers and nuances of aviation, we can better align our destination marketing to ensure sustainable air routes.”

Mr Carter said: “I’m looking forward to contributing to TTNQ as a Director to grow tourism into Tropical North Queensland.”

Ms Morris thanked Mr Shepherd for his service to TTNQ which he had chosen to end during his 50th year of working in the tourism industry.

“Max has been a stalwart and mentor for many in tourism, myself included, with a canny ability to think business decisions through,” she said.

“His steady hand on the wheel at world-class operations including Quicksilver and Skyrail has complemented brilliant marketing coups including President Bill Clinton’s trip to the Great Barrier Reef and the Olympic torch’s first swim underwater at Agincourt Reef.

“A humble man with a wry sense of humour, Max will be missed by every one of us, but we hope he continues to visit and make sure we’re ‘doing it right’.”

A Tropical North Queensland resident of 1974 with a degree in marine biology, Ms Morris has previously served on the TTNQ Board as well as the Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree, Tourism and Events Queensland and Advance Cairns boards.

She founded Reef Biosearch in 1986, a marine biologist-guided snorkelling operation aboard Quicksilver that continues to operate today, and remains a passionate advocate for the Great Barrier Reef who is on the Board of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.

Ms Morris been involved in the management and marketing of a range of mostly family owned tourism enterprises in the region including the resorts now known as Rydges Reef Resort, QT Port Douglas, Ramada Port Douglas and Crystalbrook Lodge, as well as The Wildlife Habitat, Wetherby Outback Experience, Lady Douglas Paddlewheeler and luxury charter yachts.

Also serving on the TTNQ Board are Tropical Tablelands/Remote Zone Director Ghislaine Gallo, General Director Russell Boswell, Cairns North Zone representative Sheena Walshaw, General Director Todd Parker, General Director Peter Woodward and Southern Zone Director Mark Evans.


3. Movers & Shakers… Next Hotel Brisbane’s General Manager

Movers & Shakers movers

Next Hotel Brisbane is proud to announce the promotion of Hotel Manager Justin McConnell to General Manager after nine outstanding months with the company.

His success as Hotel Manager includes overseeing budget performance and has led Next Hotel Brisbane to achieve revenue growth year on year of 8%, which is very impressive in a declining market. Mr McConnell was instrumental in helping the hotel to win the Outstanding Community Service & Achievement Award this year at the annual Queensland Hotel Association Awards for Excellence in the 0-99 employees category.

An authentic and passionate manager who is considered a great team leader by staff, Mr McConnell joined Next Hotel Brisbane in February this year from Brisbane’s Emporium Hotel, where he was Executive Assistant Manager (EAM) for over three years. Previous to this he was Director of Rooms, Sofitel Brisbane and EAM of the 648 room Grand Hyatt Bali. Mr McConnell also has a culinary background and started his hospitality career as a Chef.

Well known and highly regarded in the Brisbane Hospitality industry, Mr McConnell is an active member of the International College of Hotel Management and on the Graduates in Industry International Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Industry Consultation committee for Central Queensland University Bachelor of Hotel and Resort Management and a Guest Lecturer at the Tourism, Hospitality and Events Society, University of Queensland.


4. Movers & Shakers… QBT’s Head of Account Management


Helloworld Travel Limited’s corporate travel management division QBT, is pleased to announce the appointment of Emma Duff to the role of Head of Account Management for their growing corporate division.

Emma joins QBT with over 17 years’ experience in the travel industry. Her most recent role was as the Director of Consulting and Advisory at 4th Dimension Consulting, and prior to that she held roles as the Director of Account Management for both Egencia and FCm.

Group General Manager for QBT Nick Sutherland said “We are delighted to welcome Emma to the team at QBT. She brings a wealth of experience to the role across account management, consultancy, finance, event management, contract management, procurement, and project management. Emma’s extensive commercial experience and demonstrated ability in developing relationships that are built on credibility, integrity and trust have helped establish her in the industry as a well-respected, highly competent and collaborative leader.”

Emma Duff said “I am thrilled to be accepting this new challenge. The plans for continual innovation, expansion and growth into the future make this a very exciting time to be joining the company.”

As the leader of the Corporate Account Management team, Emma will ensure QBT clients experience world class account management services and drive value from their travel program.


5. Movers & Shakers… Resort Venture’s Senior Vice President

movers & features

Gerald A Hendrick has been recently appointed as Senior Vice President of Resort Venture Pte Ltd and General Manager of Bintan Lagoon Resort(BLR), the largest integrated resort on the Indonesian island of Bintan.

Previously the Vice-President – Business Development & Hotel Operations, Mr Hendrick has been with the Resort since September 2014. A Malaysian national and a seasoned hotelier, Mr Hendrick brings with him 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry.

He has a solid foundation developed from working with various hospitality management organizations within Asia and the Middle East, including openings and re-branding of hotels namely, Hilton International, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Raffles International, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Pan Pacific, Madinat Jumeirah and St. Regis Hotel Singapore.

As Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mr Hendrick is responsible for the administration and operations of Bintan Lagoon Resort, which has a staff strength of 500, the Resort’s ferry operations and the Singapore Corporate Office. He also played a key role in the recent 7th Asian Lifestyle Tourism awards for Outstanding Beach Resort Destination in SE ASIA, Outstanding Honeymoon Destination in SE ASIA and Best Golf Tourism Destination in SE ASIA received by Bintan Lagoon Resort in August 2017.


6. Movers & Shakers… Fiji Airways’ Culinary Ambassador


Fiji Airways has appointed award-winning Kiwi chef, Robert Oliver as their new Celebrity Chef and Culinary Ambassador.

The world-renowned chef, author, and TV presenter will work with Fiji Airways to develop menus for customers to enjoy both on-board (Economy and Business class) and in its brand new lounge currently under construction at Fiji’s Nadi International Airport.

Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO Andre Viljoen said, “We are constantly looking at how we can enhance our customer experience both in-flight and on the ground. We’ve brought award-winning chef Robert Oliver on-board to enhance our cuisine offering. As an avid proponent of South Pacific cuisine, our customers can look forward to enjoying new menus that showcase the delights of our home and our region.

“Our brand new Business Class Lounge at Nadi International Airport will have its own kitchens and a dining area, allowing our Customer Experience teams to collaborate with Robert to offer the best lounge experience in the South Pacific.”

Robert Oliver is delighted to be partnering with the airline, “I was born in New Zealand and I was raised in Fiji and Samoa. As a result, I feel deeply rooted in and connected to their cultures. This influenced my style of cooking from an early age and I’m looking forward to sharing some of my favourite dishes with travellers world-wide.”

Chef Oliver-inspired menus will be available in-flight from mid-January 2018, and will include a number of signature dishes designed exclusively for Fiji Airways.


7. Movers & Shakers… AFTA’s Chairman of the ACCMC

AFTA is pleased to announce the appointment of Graham McDonald on a two-year term to the role of Chairman of the ATAS Code Compliance Monitoring Committee (ACCMC) effective 1 November 2017.

The ACCMC has the important role of hearing appeals of complaints against ATAS accredited travel agents and the ongoing monitoring of the ATAS Code and Charter compliance.

“Mr. McDonald joins the ACCMC as Chairman with decades of legal experience across a range of industries and disciplines at the highest level of the law. He brings a wealth of knowledge which will add significant value to the ACCMC and the ATAS Scheme,” said Jayson Westbury AFTA CEO.

“Mr. McDonald currently services as the Chairman of the Financial Planning Association Conduct Review Commission so also brings experience interacting with associations and compliance.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Steven Heller who has served as the Chairman of the ACCMC for the past two years for his support and dedication to the ATAS scheme over this time.”

Did we miss someone? Send us an email and let us know.