MOVERS & SHAKERS: Meet newbies at Marriott, Wendy Wu & more

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.

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 click here to check out last week’s new appointments.


1. Meet Wendy Wu Tours’ new BDM for NSW


Wendy Wu Tours is delighted to announce the appointment of Lisa Farrugia to the role of Business Development Manager NSW, covering the areas of North /north west of NSW.

Lisa will join the highly experienced National Sales team, bringing to the role almost 10 years’ experience in business development in the travel sector, including roles at Creative Holidays and Escape Travel.

Her most recent role was at Excite Holidays, as BDM for North/north West NSW and New Zealand where she was a nominee of the prestigious AFTA “Best Sales Executive” in 2016.

On her appointment, Lisa said: “I’m thrilled to join the dynamic sales team at Wendy Wu Tours. I have long admired the company for it’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and am excited to bring this ethos to my travel agents to help them grow their business”.

General Manager for Wendy Wu Tours Australia, Steve Richards, said of the appointment, “Lisa has an outstanding history of success in delivering strong revenue growth for her agents, and her reputation in the industry is of high calibre. I am delighted to welcome her to the Wendy Wu Tours team”.


2. Meet Travel the World’s new NSW/ACT Sales Manager

Clare Wheeler-Smith

Travel the World has announced the appointment of Clare Wheeler-Smith as new Sydney-based NSW/ACT Sales Manager.

Coming from a boutique Travel Industry Marketing Company representing other premium products, Clare is a natural fit for Travel the World and its suite of luxury products.

Her efficiency and broad-based sales experience as well as her professional business development style are impressive and have earned her a well-respected reputation within the travel industry.


3. Meet NYC & Company Regional Director, International MICE Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East

Watson Li Headshot

Watson Li has joined NYC & Company’s Convention Development team as Regional Director, International MICE, serving the Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East regions. In his new role, he will drive meetings, incentive, conventions and exhibitions business to New York City’s five boroughs from these key markets. Li reports to Jerry Cito, senior vice president of Convention Development for NYC & Company.

“I am proud to join the NYC & Company team and look forward to engaging with global meeting planners across influential developing regions to showcase the benefits and excitement of hosting their next meeting in New York City,” said Watson Li.

“Watson is a respected industry professional and we look forwarded to leaning on his expertise to further develop our strategy and bolster our presence in the Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East regions in the year to come” said Jerry Cito.

Li joins NYC & Company with almost ten years of sales experience with Starwood Hotels & Resorts. He previously served as Account Director for the New York Metro Market, a role in which he was responsible for bringing groups from the Asia Pacific region to Starwood-managed properties in New York City and New Jersey. Prior to that position, he worked in sales roles at The Westin New York Times Square, in Starwood’s Global Sales office in Guangzhou, China, and at The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou.

Li is a graduate of the Glion Hotel Management School in Leysin, Switzerland and is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. He currently resides in New Jersey.


4. Meet Pangolin Photo Safaris’ new channel sales manager

Amy Knight-Dawson - 2018

The Pangolin Photo Safaris’ team has expanded with Amy Knight-Dawson joining as channel sales manager.

Pangolin Photo Safari’s director Toby Jermyn said Knight-Dawson’s previous work with Africa’s boutique inbound tour operator Livingstone Safaris and Leading Hotels of the World member Cape Grace in Cape Town grants experience on both sides of the negotiating table putting her in position to develop the valuable travel trade sales channels.

“Amy is a well-respected member of the industry and joins our team at the executive-committee level,’’ the company’s co-owner explained.

“We look forward to drawing upon her vast and invaluable industry experience as Pangolin Photo Safaris embarks upon this exciting phase of growth which sees two innovative new lodges opening in beautiful Botswana’’.


5. Meet Courtyard by Marriott Sydney – North Ryde’s General Manager


Marriott International is pleased to appoint Scott MacDonald as the General Manager of Courtyard by Marriott Sydney – North Ryde.

Scott will oversee all areas of the hotel’s day-to-day operations, sales and administration, as well as associate development and team management.

“It is an exciting time to take a role in Sydney and join the Courtyard team within Marriott International. I look forward to raising the hotel’s profile in Sydney, and attracting more guests to experience our stylish and well-located hotel,” said Scott MacDonald, General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott Sydney – North Ryde.

Scott steps into the new role with more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. His career commenced with Marriott International in 1998 at Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast, before being promoted to Food & Beverage Manager of Sheraton on the Park, Sydney in 2006. In 2010, Scott was promoted to Complex Food and Beverage Director of the Fiji Resorts on Denarau Island.  In 2013, Scott became Hotel Manager of Sheraton Fiji Resort and Sheraton Denarau Villas, as well as Hotel Manager overseeing the pre-opening of Sheraton Tokoriki Resort & Spa. Scott returned to Australia in 2015 as the Executive Assistant Manager of Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Cost.

“We are proud to offer Scott the opportunity to manage one of Marriott International’s properties in Sydney as visitor numbers continue to increase,” said Sean Hunt Area Vice President, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Marriott International. “Since joining our company, Scott has been an integral part of the team and proven his leadership capabilities, as well as his strong ability to effectively manage a hotel.”


6. Meet Regent Seven Seas Cruises new Business Development Manager for NSW & ACT

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is excited to announce the appointment of cruising industry professional Linda Seiersen as its new Business Development Manager for NSW & ACT.

The appointment of Ms. Seiersen, who joined the company on January 10, sees Linda bring a raft of experience to the role, having previously worked as a Regional Sales Manager with Viking Cruises for over 6 years, where she held roles as a Business Development Manager and Customer Services Manager.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Linda on board at such an exciting time for Regent Seven Seas Cruises,” said Lisa Pile, Vice President Sales, Australia & New Zealand, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “With Regent Seven Seas Cruises currently undergoing a US$125 million fleetwide refurbishment, and our new shipSeven Seas Splendor® launching in 2020, it is a fantastic time for us to welcome Linda’s passion, experience and drive to our burgeoning local team,” said Lisa Pile.

Commenting on her appointment, Linda Seiersen said: “I’m delighted to commence my role with Regent Seven Seas Cruises, who offer a unique all-inclusive luxury product which aligns perfectly with the Australian market. I’m looking forward to working closely with our agent trade partners to introduce our unique cruising experience to a larger section of the local market.”

Linda is replacing Alice Ager, who is moving into a newly created Sales Operations role with Regent Seven Seas Cruises