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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. Shane Watson returns to Likuliku Lagoon

Travel industry appointment in Fiji

Likuliku Lagoon Resort has welcomed Shane Watson back as Executive Chef.

Watson was the inaugural Executive Chef when Likuliku first opened in April 2007, he was responsible for the formation of Likuliku’s food ethos, creating menus that put Likuliku on the map as a paradise destination for foodies.

Having successfully opened and set up Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Shane returned to Sydney as Executive Chef at Wild Fire and then Jaspers before moving to Thailand where he took on the role of Executive Chef at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra.

On returning to Australia, Shane took on a new challenge as opening Executive Chef for Print Hall in Perth. Under Shane’s direction, Print Hall in just two years achieved two Chefs Hats and numerous other awards and accolades.

Shane is renowned for building deep and long-lasting relationships with local growers and artisans.

He personally selects the produce daily, meeting with fisherman, farmers and producers for free range eggs, organic meats, catches of fish and other seafood straight from the sea.

As a keen kitchen gardener, Shane will continue to nurture Likuliku’s established garden farm, foraging its succulent vegetables, herbs and unique local fruits to create and develop his delicious menus.


2. American Express Global Business Travel’s senior appointments

Travel industry appointment at American Express Global Business TravelAmerican Express Global Business Travel has appointed Philippe Chérèque to expand his remit from Chief Technology Officer to Chief Commercial and Technology Officer.

In addition, Steve Curts, who was Senior Vice President, Internal Business Systems, has been appointed to the newly-created role of Chief Strategy Officer.

Both Mr. Chérèque and Mr. Curts will report to Bill Glenn, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Express Global Business Travel.

As part of his newly expanded role, Mr. Chérèque will lead all of GBT’s customer-facing business divisions, including Sales and Client Management, Global Business Consulting, and Meetings & Events.

Bringing customer-facing teams and activities under one leader will foster greater collaboration and enable deeper levels of customer and industry-specific insight across verticals and geographies.

As Chief Strategy Officer, Mr. Curts will lead the M&A group, expand and strengthen partnerships and centralise GBT’s data analytics and business intelligence function.

Additionally, Mr. Curts will oversee the Company’s marketing and public relations activities.

Mr. Chérèque joined GBT as Chief Technology Officer in September 2014.

He previously held the role of Executive Vice President of Commercial at Amadeus Technology Group SA, where he led the worldwide implementation of Amadeus Technology’s commercial strategy.

Mr. Curts joined GBT as Senior Vice President, Internal Business Systems in May 2014. He was previously Vice President, Dell Services, Services Delivery, at Dell. In his roles at Dell, Mr. Curts led strategic operations to revitalise Dell’s Infrastructure and Cloud Computing Healthcare Industry Group.


3. Sung steps into head role at TripAdvisor

Irene Sung has been appointed to head up TripAdvisor’s customers in the newly created role of Head of Client Development.

Based in TripAdvisor’s regional Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, Irene is responsible for formulating business strategies in key verticals for TripAdvisor Display Advertising as well as managing key client relations to help them improve their understanding and utilisation of TripAdvisor offerings.

Prior to TripAdvisor, Irene was Head of Branding at Google and as Google’s pioneer sales employee in Singapore, she was instrumental in propelling Google’s presence in Asia Pacific and accelerating Google’s online sales revenue over the years.

Irene graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Science with double majors in Mathematics and Biology.

Aaron Leong, formerly a Sales Manager for TripAdvisor in Southeast Asia, will now report to Irene in a newly created role as Client Development Manager for Asia Pacific where he will be tasked with developing key client relationships.


4. IHG lands Peiris

Travel industry appointment at IHG

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has appointed Ruwan Peiris as Regional General Manager for New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Victoria.

In his new role, Ruwan will be responsible for the management of thirteen IHG hotels, the National Convention Centre Canberra andParliament House Catering by IHG.

Ruwan, who holds an Associate Diploma in Hotel Management, joins IHG with over 20 years of experience in Australia’s hospitality industry.

He was most recently Area General Manager with Accor Hotels, where he was responsible for the operational performance of hotels across New South Wales, the ACT and the company’s properties in Darling Harbour.

During that time Ruwan also played a key role in integrating Mirvac Hotels & Resorts into the group whilst driving the company’s reputational growth on a national level.

Having started his career overseeing food and beverage (F&B) operations, Ruwan’s experience in F&B comes at a strategic time for IHG which is focused on enhancing dining experiences for its guests and customers.


5. Nesbitt steps in to manage Sydney hotel

Travel industry appointment at Frasers

Benjamin Nesbitt has stepped into the role of General Manager at Frasers Suites Sydney.

In his two years with the Sydney property, Ben has held the positions of Executive Assistant Manager and Hotel Manager, prior to being appointed to the position as General Manager.

Ben brings extensive hotel experience to Frasers Hospitality, having held various positions within his eight year tenure with Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) in Rooms Division, as well as in Revenue Management and Front Office Management.

An accomplished all-rounder in the hotel industry, Ben is highly regarded for his passion, enthusiasm, and his innate ability to build rapport with guests, internal teams and external suppliers.

Through his commitment to employee engagement, will lead the team at Fraser Suites Sydney’s to bring the companies vision to life- to be a leading global hospitality group that provides memorable experiences through continuous innovation and intuitive service.


6. Hughes promoted at Accor

Travel industry appointment at Accor

Accor is pleased to announce the appointment of Hayden Hughes to General Manger, Darling Harbour Hotels & Area Manager Ibis Budget.

Hayden joined Accor in April 2002 at the Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort.

Since then, Hayden has gained a solid background in rooms division and management roles at hotels such as Novotel Twin Waters, Grand Mercure Suites Mackay, Sofitel Gold Coast and Sofitel Brisbane.

In May 2010, Hayden was promoted to the role of General Manager, Novotel Melbourne on Collins before being appointed to his most recent role as General Manager, Ibis Budget Brand and Ibis Sydney Airport in June 2014.


7. New marketing head joins Trump International Hotel

Travel industry appointment at Trump International Hotel

Trump International Hotel™ Waikiki Beach Walk® has promoted Marcus Ito to Director of Sales & Marketing.

In his new role, Ito will focus on increasing business opportunities from all current and potential source markets, with a focus on growing the group segment, enhancing strong client relationships, and providing support to Trump Waikiki’s exceptional team of sales professionals.

Ito replaces industry veteran John Votsis who remains at the hotel as Executive Advisor – Marketing, and who along with Ito was part of the pre-opening team of Trump Waikiki nearly six years ago.

Previously, Ito served the dual role as Director of Leisure Sales for Trump Waikiki as well as Global Sales Director – Asia Pacific for Trump Hotel Collection.

Seeing the hotel rise from opening in the midst of a global recession to becoming the island of Oahu’s only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotel has been a gratifying journey for Ito.

Prior to joining Trump Waikiki, Ito worked as Director of International Marketing for Wyndham Vacation Resorts in Honolulu, Director of Asia Pacific Sales and Services for Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on Maui, and in various sales and operations positions at Halekulani and Starwood Hawaii.

Born and raised in Honolulu, Ito is a graduate of the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies.

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