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



1. Allianz Global Assistance appoints new CEO


Allianz Global Assistance (AGA) has appointed Craig Dalzell to the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective immediately.

Craig has been in the role of acting CEO since January 2016, following the departure of John Myler, and was formerly AGA Australia’s Chief Financial Officer since September 2014.

Prior to joining AGA, Craig was the Director Advisory Services Financial Management with KPMG. He brings over 20 years’ experience across multiple industries, including government and health sectors, and a proven track record in delivering results and organisational transformations.

In his new role, Craig will focus on product expansion within the health portfolio to build a value offering for larger corporate clients. Additionally, he will be looking to introduce a range of home and lifestyle products, building upon AGA’S 15-year relationship with the Department of Veteran Affairs.


2. Cook Islands Tourism appoints new Marketing & Communication Manager

travel industry Cook Islands

Cook Islands Tourism Corporation is pleased to announce the appointment of Justine White as the new Marketing and Communications Manager for Australia.

Justine will join the Gold Coast based team, effective immediately, implementing communications and marketing projects such as tactical roll-out of campaigns, management of industry events and roadshows, and maintaining communications with wholesalers, trade and suppliers.

Justine brings over 15 years of travel industry experience having worked in the United States for major tour operators such as Rocky Mountaineer and Trafalgar, and Hong Kong Tourism Board and Trafalgar in Australia.

Through these roles, Justine had the opportunity to work on a variety of jobs including marketing campaigns, developing and managing a series of consumer travel shows and executing trade marketing projects.

Having strong relationships with wholesale and retail travel trade partners, airlines and tourism boards, Justine will be responsible for managing the Cook Islands marketing strategy that will further drive awareness for the destination and increase Australian visitation.


3. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announces new GM for the Americas

travel industry hotel

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced the appointments of Cliff Atkinson as General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Miami and Donald Bowman as General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas.

Both appointments are effective from 9 May 2016.

Cliff Atkinson joins Mandarin Oriental, Miami from the Group’s property in Las Vegas where he was General Manager since September 2012.

During his tenure, Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas was the only property in the city to attain the Forbes Triple Five-Star award. A veteran hotelier with 25 years of experience, Mr Atkinson first joined Mandarin Oriental in 1998 as Director of Revenue Management at the former Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco and was later promoted to Corporate Director of Revenue Management.

In 2003, he was part of the opening team at Mandarin Oriental, New York as Executive Assistant Manager. As General Manager of the Group’s property in San Francisco, he oversaw the hotel’s successful renovation in May 2012.

Mr Atkinson also held roles as General Manager at Ian Schrager’s Gramercy Park Hotel in New York and Ralph Burnet’s Chambers Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Donald Bowman has succeeded Cliff Atkinson as General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas. With 30 years of luxury hospitality experience, Mr Bowman rejoins Mandarin Oriental from the Las Vegas consulting firm, Beyond Hospitality.

Donald joined Mandarin Oriental in 1997 and has held a variety of hotel management positions within the Group. He was instrumental in the successful launch and positioning of Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas as Hotel Manager from 2008 to 2011.

He left the Group in 2011 to take up the role of General Manager opening Ian Schrager’s hotel, PUBLIC Chicago, and later as General Manager of Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel, California. In 2012, Mr Bowman rejoined the Group as General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco where he positioned the hotel as one of the most iconic luxury properties in the region which earned the Forbes Double Five-Star award for the first time in 2014.


4. IHG strengthens its  corporate operations team

Gareth Long

IHG’s Karin Sheppard, COO for Australasia and Japan, has announced a new member of her growing Corporate Operations team in preparation for the company’s expanding pipeline in the region, appointing Gareth Long as Director of Operations Support Australasia and Japan.

Gareth will be responsible for driving operations excellence across the 66 hotels in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Japan, ensuring new initiatives are fully embedded to drive performance improvements.

Gareth has over 10 years’ experience with IHG which has seen him take on various fast-track operations development roles both in Australia and India. He is a graduate of the Group’s Future Leaders Program and held operational roles at Holiday Inn City Centre Perth and Potts Point, before his most recent appointment as General Manager, Holiday Inn Sydney Airport.


5. More support at innovative start-up

In response to growing customer demand and international expansion plans, a top Australian tourism start-up has added two incredible industry talents as permanent staff members.

Starting off the year with a huge partnership announcement with tourism giant Expedia, Sydney’s Booking Boss continues to hit major goals and now welcomes Tourism NT’s Julieta Vallance along with Red Balloon’s Emma Rodwell.

CEO Renee Welsh says the company’s growth exceeded expectations in 2015. With business booming she says Booking Boss is ready to make a stronger footprint in the market here and overseas.

Both Ms Vallance and Ms Rodwell’s roles will build on forging strong relationships with activity and tour operators both here and overseas.

The move to Booking Boss from their old roles was an organic progression with both additions hearing about the opportunity from industry colleagues.

Ms Vallance says she couldn’t pass up the chance to work with the Booking Boss team. After almost a decade of working in the public sector, the shift to the fast-paced world of start-ups was an exciting prospect.

Both new team members say they look forward to working hard in order to foster close relationships and to bring new partnerships onboard.


6. Greg McCallum joins Rocky Mountaineer

Rocky Mountaineer is pleased to announce the appointment of Greg McCallum as National Sales Manager, APAC.

Under the direction of Robert Halfpenny, Director of Sales, APAC, Melbourne-based McCallum will be responsible for the development of sales with trade partner accounts within the Asia Pacific region and leading the talented national sales team.

In addition, McCallum will provide leadership on special projects and activities to drive continued growth from the region. 2015 was the sixth consecutive year of double digit growth for Rocky Mountaineer, with 2016 showing signs of another profitable year.

Having worked with some hallmark travel brands in his career, including Express Travel Group, Rail Plus Australasia, Best Western Australia Hotels and Helloworld LTD, McCallum joins Rocky Mountaineer with a wealth of knowledge in the travel industry.

The role of National Sales Manager, APAC was recently vacated by Steve Farrelly who has accepted a Vancouver-based role with Rocky Mountaineer as Manager, Trade Sales.

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