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Who were this week's travel industry movers & shakers?

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

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



1. Starwood appoints new head of HR

Starwood appointmentAmy Bunting has stepped into the role of Regional Director of Human Resources for the Starwood Pacific Region and Director of Human Resources for Sheraton on the Park.

Amy succeeds Emma Jones who has transferred to Starwood’s South East Asia operations.

In the role, Amy will be responsible for all aspects of human resource management at Sheraton on the Park and overseeing 18 operating hotels and six hotels under development in the Pacific Region.

She will be based at The Sheraton on the Park in Sydney and will provide strategic leadership and direction on all aspects of the associate experience including hiring, benefits, training and employee relations across the Pacific portfolio.

Amy brings over 15 years’ experience in the service delivery industry and enters the role following two years at the Westin Sydney, where she led the HR operations and was charged with implementing HR policies and procedures.

Prior to this, Amy spent four years at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney in various management roles.


2. Garcia heads up Aus sales for eco-adventure operator


South American eco-adventure operator explora has amped up its operations in Australia, to drive more growth and awareness in the market.

The company has appointed NOMADE Unique Experiences South America to represent the company in Australia.

Sales and marketing director Mr. Benjamin Garcia will be the account manager for explora and will report to the long term director of sales and marketing, Ms. Ximena Zamora.

Mr. Garcia has formerly worked for explora as its sales manager in Chile for two years in 2008 before relocating to Sydney and taking a position as the market manager for Asia with LAN Airlines.

He then held the position of segment owner tourism with LATAM Airlines Group while based in Sydney.


3. ICONIC exec joins HotelQuickly


Just months after launching into the Australian market, HotelQuickly, has announced the appointment of Niklas Olsson to the newly created role of Director of Offline and Partnership Marketing.

Olsson who joins HotelQuickly from renowned online fashion retailer THE ICONIC where he played a vital role in launching the retailer in Australia and leading its digital and marketing operations, will work with HotelQuickly Co-founder and CMO Christian Mischler to support the hotel booking app’s expansion across the APAC region with an immediate focus on Australia.

Olsson will lead the continued development in the Australian market and largely be responsible for the marketing efforts across the APAC region with a clear focus on strategic partnerships.

He joins HotelQuickly after spending more than three years building THE ICONIC from unknown to industry leader.

As engineer turned entrepreneur he began his career working as a project manager in the Nuclear industry and founded a recruitment firm in Sweden prior to his graduate studies in Australia on a scholarship at UNSW.


4. New GM leads Etihad in Canada


Etihad Airways has appointed Craig Thomas as General Manager for Canada.

Craig will be based in Toronto, where he will be responsible for all commercial activity for Etihad Airways, as well as further growing the airline’s relationships with trade and corporate partners.

He will report to Martin Drew, the airline’s new Vice President of The Americas.

Craig most recently served as Etihad Airways’ Regional General Manager – Asia Pacific North and the Indian Subcontinent, based in Bangkok.

He joined Etihad Airways in 2005 as the Sales and Marketing Manager – Southern Africa and later served as the airline’s General Manager – Thailand and State Manager of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

Prior to joining Etihad Airways, Craig held various management roles in airport operations at Virgin Atlantic and served as Corporate Travel Manager at De Beers.

Craig, who assumes his new role on 16 June, replaces James Harrison who has been appointed General Manager – United Kingdom for Etihad Airways.


5. Accor names new GM for Ibis Mackay

ibis appointment

Ahead of  the opening of the Ibis Mackay, the company has appointed an experienced new general manager, Scott Grant, to oversee the hotels operations.

Scott has long history with the Accor group in Australia since commencing in December 2004 at the Mercure Inn Continental Broome as Food and Beverage Manager.

Scott then spent a year working out of the Accor group, and re-joined in August 2006 as Food and Beverage Manager at the Mercure Resort Great Keppel Island.

Subsequently, Scott was appointed General Manager at the All Seasons Alice Springs, before relocating to Sydney to assume the role of Executive Assistant Manager at the Menzies Hotel in March 2009.

Scott acted as General Manager at the Ibis Newcastle, Ibis Thornleigh and Ibis Darling Harbour and was then appointed to his most recent role as General Manager at the Mercure Olims Canberra in August 2011.

6. Executive changes at Accor

Accor 4

Accor has made several changes to its executive management teams in Australia and New Zealand in order to ‘put the best available on the top’.

Announced this week, Accor’s Chief Operating Officer Pacific, Simon McGrath said as the company moves forward it needs to ensure ‘the best person is assigned to each role’.

Changes see Chris Sedgwick, former Vice President Operations Queensland/Northern Territory appointed to Senior Vice President Operations, New Zealand, Fiji and Polynesia.

Read on


7. United scoops up former Cathay manager


United Airlines scooped up a former Cathay Pacific manager to head up its sales in Australia and New Zealand.

Effective 20 May, Julie Reid will step into the role of Director of Sales for the two countries.

Based in Sydney, Reid will be responsible for overseeing the company’s Australian and New Zealand business activities with direct accountability for sales, revenue, marketing and administration.

Read on


8. Rocky Mountaineer appoints new VP of global sales


Rocky Mountaineer appointed Karen Hardie as Vice President of Global Sales.

Based in Vancouver, Hardie will be leading the company’s international team of sales professionals, expanding business development opportunities with trade partners and focusing on growth with valued partners across all travel industry distribution channels.

Hardie joined Rocky Mountaineer in 2012 as the Director Sales, USA, bringing numerous years of experience within the tourism industry along with exceptional sales, marketing and business development skills.

She has an outstanding reputation for delivering sales growth and quickly climbed the ranks and relocated to Vancouver to serve as the Director of Global Sales Operations in late 2013.

Prior to joining Rocky Mountaineer, Hardie was the Vice-President of Sales for Stella Travel USA.

She has also held senior positions with Orion Expedition Cruises in California and Australia as well as St. Ives Travel (American Express and Virtuoso Agency) located in Sydney, Australia.

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