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. Meet Topdeck’s new Global General Manager

Joe Ponte

Topdeck Travel has announced the appointment of Joe Ponte as their new Global General Manager following 18 months of success as GM for the brand’s Asia Pacific region.

The Flight Centre Limited owned brand has also appointed Ben Ittensohn as Regional Manager, Asia Pacific with 2017 marking Ittensohn’s 10-year anniversary working for the company.

Ponte’s new role has been relocated to the company’s London headquarters to immerse himself in the global product, operations and management teams of the business.

Read on


2. Meet TAT’s new Marketing Representative for New Zealand


Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced the appointment of Ms. Angela Farrelly as a new representative for New Zealand. Ms. Farrelly will assume responsibilities on 1 October 2017 and will succeed Mrs. Marieanne Ouwehand, who has stepped down.

Ms. Angela Farrelly is a motivated, cutting edge senior marketing professional who has worked in top tier corporates like Air New Zealand and IAG. Ms. Farrelly is an expert in the New Zealand consumer and how to craft targeted marketing program using digital technologies.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is confident that Ms. Angela Farrelly will play a key role in promoting Thailand as well as providing and implementing high quality services for tourism industry clients in New Zealand.


3. Meet Sage Hotel Ringwood’s General Manager


Innovative boutique hotel brand Sage Hotels is pleased to announce the appointment of Marcus Dudley as General Manager for the highly anticipated Sage Hotel Ringwood in Melbourne’s leafy eastern suburbs and gateway to the Yarra Valley. The newly built hotel scheduled to open on 10th October brings the number of Sage Hotels to five and complements the recently opened properties in Brisbane and West Perth, together with Adelaide and Wollongong.

Marcus is a seasoned hotelier with over 25 years’ experience within the industry, having spent the last 10 years in the Middle East, most recently as General Manager at Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. His career has taken him across the globe with previous management roles in United Arab Emirates, Thailand, England, South Africa and Australia, bringing a wealth of cross-cultural experience to the cosmopolitan city of Melbourne.

Sage Hotel Ringwood is positioned atop the area’s best shopping destination, Eastland Shopping Centre. Boasting 120 well-appointed rooms across a variety of room types, the five-storey hotel is complemented with a sun-soaked lobby lounge level dedicated to a re-imagined co-working and meeting space, a state-of-the-art gymnasium along with the hotel’s signature bar, High and Dry and Partake Restaurant.

Commenting on his appointment, Marcus Dudley remarked: “I’m thrilled to be appointed General Manager of Sage Hotel Ringwood, and am eagerly looking forward to creating memorable experiences for our guests. The hotel is strategically located in Melbourne’s east, perfect for a day of shopping with friends or a daytrip to the beautiful Yarra Valley. When it’s time to put your feet up, we know that Sage Hotel Ringwood will become the obvious choice, due to its impeccable offerings”.

Marcus recently commenced his new role in Ringwood and has been tasked with building a team of over 30 associates, as well as developing all pre-opening activities to ensure the hotel’s success.


4. Meet LATAM’s new Regional General Manager, Oceania

LATAM Airlines Group (LATAM) is pleased to announce Valeria Alvano has been appointed Regional General Manager, Oceania, to lead the strategic, commercial and marketing teams at its Sydney headquarters.

Ms Alvano’s appointment follows the departure of Asia-Pacific Managing Director, Patricio Aylwin, who held the role for six years.

As Regional General Manager Ms Alvano is responsible for consolidating LATAM’s presence in the Oceania region, a market in which LATAM continues to develop and grow.

“I am thrilled to join the Sydney-based Oceania team and drive greater awareness of South America and the Caribbean as a truly accessible, safe and exciting destination,” said Ms Alvano. “With a diverse mix of adventure and cultural offerings, South America is a bucket list destination for many Australians and New Zealanders and I look forward to further raising the profile of LATAM Airlines as the airline to get you there.”

Ms Alvano is a skilled aviation professional, possessing extensive experience within the LATAM Airlines Group, having worked in a range of revenue, commercial, planning and strategic partnership roles. For the previous five years, Ms Alvano has held the position of Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, based at LATAM’s head office in Santiago, Chile. Before this, her roles included Commercial Director for the South American business unit, Manager of Route Revenue for the USA, South America and Asia, Manager of Route Revenue for North America and Senior Strategic Manager for Commercial Partnerships, South America.

Ms Alvano’s aviation and strategic experience will be pivotal to the Regional General Manager role, where she is tasked with driving awareness of LATAM’s new international routes and extensive network across South America and Caribbean.

“This is a really exciting year for LATAM, as we continue to consolidate our presence in Oceania with the launch of LATAM’s new, non-stop service between Melbourne and Santiago, Chile in October 2017,” said Ms Alvano. “With onward connections to 115 destinations throughout South America, the direct route will make it even easier for Australians to experience the wealth of attractions, cultures and cuisines South America has on offer.”


5. Meet Prime Biz Kuta Hotel’s new General Manager

One of Seminyak’s favourite boutique properties, located on the famous Eat Street, Amadea Resort and Villas’ General Manager Wayan Warta, has been appointed General Manager of Prime Biz Kuta Hotel.

Mr Warta’s experience has seen him lead the opening of Amadea Resort and Villas since 2011, and this new role will see dual responsibility of Prime Biz Kuta Hotel.

Prime Plaza Biz Kuta, is perfectly located, only 5 minutes from Denpasar airport and is only a few minutes from the famous Kuta Beachfront and shopping and entertainment street.

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