Who got a new gig this week? Check out this week’s travel industry movers & shakers.



1. New additions at the Aurora Expeditions Sydney-based team

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After announcing the launch of a new, custom-built expedition ship last month, Aurora Expeditions, Australia’s leading expedition cruise company, has announced it is expanding its Sydney-based team with a series of new staff appointments.

A number of new and existing positions have recently been filled by a selection of skilled professionals, all bringing extensive experience within the travel and tourism industry.

Dianna Schinella has been appointed to the new role of Industry Sales and Marketing Manager and will be responsible for managing and developing Aurora Expeditions strategic trade partnerships. Dianna brings over 15 years of sales and marketing experience across a broad range of travel products including New Caledonia Tourism, Globus Family of Brands and, most recently, Rocky Mountaineer. Trade partners are invited to contact Dianna at [email protected]au or on 1800 637 688.

Michael Woods has taken up the new role of Brand Marketing Manager to lead the company’s brand strategy. Michael brings more than 20 years’ travel industry experience, most recently heading up the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and Turismo Chile accounts for global communications agency Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

Mark Lee brings over 10 years’ travel industry experience to the new role of Product Manager and will be responsible for developing the company’s already exciting range of products, itineraries and packages. Mark previously held the role of Product Manager with Insider Journeys (formerly Travel Indochina).

Within the Aurora Travel Agency Services team, Dominic Sasse joins the team from STA Travel as Reservations Manager and Christopher Bryan comes onboard as Reservations Consultant. Both will be responsible for servicing Aurora Expeditions direct clients and agency partners.

Finally, Ania Baranek joins the team as Expedition Team Coordinator, bringing eight years of guiding experience to assist in the recruitment and development of Aurora Expeditions world-class team of destination and expedition specialists.


2. Royal Caribbean appoints Belinda Osmic as new Azamara BDM

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RCL Cruises has announced the appointment of Belinda Osmic to Business Development Manager for Azamara Club Cruises Australia and New Zealand, following Steve Garside’s decision to relocate to his home in the UK.

In her new position, Belle will work with trade partners throughout Australia and New Zealand, to inspire and educate agents on Azamara’s range of immersive voyages onboard the line’s two boutique-sized, 690-guest ships – Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey.

Belinda has over 12 years’ experience in the cruise industry, most recently as Trade Training Executive for RCL Cruises Australia and New Zealand as well as being a member of the Inside Sales team. Before joining the shoreside RCL Cruises team in Sydney, Belle travelled extensively while working as an Activities Manager and Cruise Director on a number of ships in Royal Caribbean’s international fleet, including Allure of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas.

Director of Sales and Marketing, Kathryn Valk, says that Belle’s in-depth industry experience will be instrumental in showcasing Azamara to the local market.


3. Delta Air Lines & Virgin Australia appoint joint venture General Manager

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Delta Air Lines has appointed Clare Wheatley as General Manager – Australia and NZ and Virgin Australia Joint Venture (JV).  Ms Wheatley will serve as lead for the JV as the two carriers collaborate across the commercial spectrum in Marketing, Loyalty, Network, Revenue Management and Sales. In her expanded role, Ms Wheatley will spend part of her time collocated at Virgin Australia’s headquarters.

Newly appointed GM Clare Wheatley said: “I am thrilled to take the lead on Delta Air Lines’ joint venture with Virgin Australia, which happens to be the only anti-trust immunised JV in the market”.

“The creation of the role means that we can essentially operate as one airline for our customers, from having a joint presence at wholesaler expos to bridged agency agreements and everything in between,” Ms Wheatley said.

Ms Wheatley previously served in other roles with Delta in New York and London before returning to Australia to support the JV with Virgin Australia. Delta’s partnership with Virgin Australia is part of Delta’s global network of joint venture partnerships – including Aeromexico, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic – that allow Delta to better serve its customers around the world.


4. ATEC congratulates Tourism WA’s new Chairman

Australia’s peak export body, the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) congratulated Nathan Harding on his appointment to the role of Chairman of the Board of Tourism Western Australia.

Mr Harding has extensive insight and knowledge of both the WA and national tourism landscape and, along with his role as a board member of Tourism WA, has been a significant contributor as a former national and state board member of ATEC.

“Nathan is an amazing tourism industry leader and an inspirational mentor to many members of our industry both in WA and nationally,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said.

“We congratulate Nathan on his appointment and consider this to be a positive step forward by the Government in putting its support behind West Australia’s tourism industry.

“Nathan will bring his vast tourism knowledge, business capability, industry connections and international marketing expertise to this position and help to build on the success of WA’s tourism industry which is now taken the lead as the state’s leading export earner in a post mining economy.”


5. Destination NSW appoints new Manager, Regional Conference

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase announced today the appointment of Ms Helen Parker to the position of Manager, Regional Conferencing.

Ms Chipchase said: “Helen impressed the interview panel with her knowledge of regional NSW industries and the key linkages to developing conferencing opportunities for rural and regional areas. Her track record of success in business development and desire to make a difference for NSW to grow this important sector of the visitor economy are just some of the key attributes Helen will bring to the role.”

Ms Parker has an extensive and impressive background in conference sales, event management and stakeholder engagement having worked for the Royal Agricultural Society, the Starlight Children’s Foundation and most recently at Fairfax Events.

Ms Parker will be reporting to Mr Stephen Mahoney, GM Regional and will be commencing her role on 17 July.

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