It’s been a big week in the travel industry with people moving up and on from previous positions into new and exciting gigs, we call them our movers & shakers.

So, find out who got a new gig this week by checking out this week’s travel industry movers & shakers below or clicking here to check out last week’s new appointments.


1. Meet… Travel Counsellors’ Cruise Executive

Movers & Shakers Travel Counsellors appointment

Travel Counsellors announced that Jane Tanti joined the team this week as Cruise Executive. After China, Australia is the second largest growth market in cruise, and with her vast experience, Jane will strengthen relationships with partners and further support agents to drive growth in cruise sales.

Jane has been in the industry for several years most recently working for Viking Cruises. Previously, Jane worked with Cunard Line and Seabourn Cruise Line (who then became World’s Leading Cruise Lines), and for Cruise Office who were the GSA for Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Voyages of Antiquity, Voyages of Discovery, Swan Hellenic and American Queen Steamboat Company.

Movers & Shakers

Travel Counsellors General Manager Tracy Parkinson commented “we recognise the demand for cruise in Australia and Jane’s wealth of knowledge and experience will make her a valuable addition to our team”. Speaking of the demand in cruise, Jane said “Local cruising has given Australians a taste of the best value for money holidays, and the word is spreading”.

A member of SKAL and CLIA, Jane is so passionate about cruising that she has done over 50 cruises to date.


2. Meet… CLIA’s new Regional Manager of Asia

Movers & Shakers

As cruise tourism in Asia continues to grow at an impressive rate, and the cruise industry deploys more ships to destinations across the region, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Asia has announced the appointment of Jiali Wong as its new Regional Manager for Asia, based in Singapore.

With almost 10 years’ experience in tourism, Ms Wong will be responsible for growing industry engagement in the region and supporting the continued growth of cruise. This includes responsibilities for event development and growing CLIA’s Executive Partner program in the region.

Ms Wong is seconded from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and most recently headed the Cruise Business Development team at the STB where she forged strong interest and networks in the cruise industry. In her previous roles, she has handled business development and events management in sectors such as Business Travel, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions and tourism development.

CLIA Australasia & Asia Managing Director Joel Katz said Ms Wong’s appointment further establishes CLIA’s role in the region as the peak cruise industry body as it prepares for another record year of cruising.

“This is a new dedicated position, designed to support our members as the cruise industry continues to expand across Asia. We’re looking forward to working with Jiali as we intensify our focus on advocating, educating, and promoting on behalf of the industry in the region. While the Asian cruise market has grown tremendously over the past four years – it has the potential to catapult ahead of competing markets,” Mr Katz said.


3. Meet… Singapore Tourism Board’s new Area Director for Oceania

Movers & Shakers

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is delighted to welcome Ms Stephanie Yong to the Oceania team as their new Area Director Oceania.

Based in the Sydney office, Stephanie’s appointment will commence officially from 1 December 2017, where she will be succeeding Sharon Lam, who will be departing for no-pay leave prior to returning to the Singapore office.

Stephanie is no stranger to Australia, having graduated from the University of Wollongong in 1998 with a degree in Commerce and Management Studies. She joined the Singapore Tourism Board in 2000, starting in their Legal department before moving on to the Resource Development division.

Her experience with the Board’s overseas operations began in 2010 when she was appointed Area Director for Central and Southern Europe based out of the Frankfurt office, and was thereafter Area Director for Northern and Western Europe based out of London.

Stephanie’s subsequent return to Singapore was to head the Board’s Integrated Resorts department, where she was responsible for the development and account management of both Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa. This entailed working closely with government agencies to formulate and execute policies, with oversight on key areas that impact the success of both integrated resorts.

“I’m really excited to be returning to Australia and joining the Oceania team with managing the Board’s promotions in Australia and New Zealand,” she said. “I’d like to build on the good work that the team has been doing, and to continue working with our industry partners, to further entrench Singapore as a must-visit destination for both Aussies and Kiwis.”


4. Meet… Veriu Hotels’ new COO

Hotel appointment

Veriu Hotels & Suites has appointed Caspar Schmidt as their Group Chief Operating Officer, to oversee the group’s operations as it prepares for expansion.

Schmidt’s appointment coincides with the impending expansion of Veriu’s hotel network with the 112-room Veriu Central set to open early December, and the new build 144-room Veriu Green Square to commence construction early 2018 for a March 2019 opening. Other Veriu properties are also slated for Surry Hills and Elizabeth Bay in 2018.

Veriu Directors, Rhys Williams and Alex Thorpe said: “Caspar brings with him both the operational experience and the passion required to build the profile of a developing hotel brand. His focus will also be working with the expanding hotel teams to bring our brand attributes further to life and create the bespoke guest experience that Veriu is proud to deliver, while we focus our attention on growth opportunities for the Group.”

With over 20 years of hospitality experience, Schmidt previously worked for TFE Hotels in various General Manager and Area Manager roles both in Australia and overseas (including his native Denmark) with particular expertise in revenue management, food & beverage and talent development.  He has also trained at the highly regarded Blue Mountains School of Hotel Management, complemented with continuing education from Cornell University.

Hotel appointment 2

“Veriu brings a fresh new approach to the hotel scene and I am excited to join such an innovative brand that is dedicated to creating authentic local experiences with a genuine connection to the city for guests,” said Schmidt.

“Building a team of smart, innovative and truly dedicated people is a great challenge and something that we are 100 % committed to, and I look forward to the challenges ahead.”

Schmidt is joined by Jennifer Roach as Talent & Culture Director who will conduct an intensive recruitment process across the key areas business to service the group’s expansion.

Roach has worked in Human Resources across a number of industries including Airline, Media and Retail and was previously at TFE Hotels before joining the Veriu team.

“Joining the group at this time of growth is an exciting prospect and I look forward to creating a strong team and building on the positive culture of the group,” said Roach.


5. Meet… ONYX Hospitality Group’s new Executive Vice President of Operations

ONYX Hospitality

Craig joins ONYX from Oakwood Asia-Pacific where he held the role of Vice President of Operations, overseeing the Group’s portfolio across the region as well as supporting the opening pipeline. Prior to joining Oakwood, Bond held leadership roles with Pan Pacific Hotels, Mirvac and Saville Hotel Group across Australia and the Oceania regions.

Commenting on his new role, Craig said: “I am excited to be joining ONYX at a time when the group is expanding into new markets and territories; and I look forward to being a part of the company’s growth as we continue our journey towards being the best medium-sized hospitality player in the Asia-Pacific region.”


6. Meet… Bunnik Tours’ new Business Development Managers

Bunnik Tours is very pleased to announce the appointment of Lachlan Burnet, Walter Delorie and Lisa Hunt to the roles of Business Development Manager.

The three new BDMs join our existing team of Zoe Francis, Dan Zadow and Adam Dickson and will be responsible for developing trade relationships in NSW/ACT and Vic/Tas.

They bring a great breadth of experience to their roles having worked in the Industry for 34 years combined! Lachlan comes with 10 years’ experience at Wendy Wu, 6 years at Intrepid Travel; Walter with 2 years at Insider Journeys and 12 years at Insight Vacations; Lisa with 4 years at Covermore Travel Insurance and 11 years at News Ltd.

“We had a really high calibre of experienced BDMs from the Trade and other industries apply for these positions,” said managing director, Dennis Bunnik. “We are excited to have secured industry professionals who will approach their new roles with passion and enthusiasm.”

“We know that once a client tries a small group tour they are hooked. The key factor for making this happen though is travel consultant training and awareness on the benefits of small group travel. This almost doubling of our sales team is an important step in this process as it will allow us to work even closer with our key travel agent partners to further build the small group touring revolution.”

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