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



1. Visit Sunshine Coast appoints new Chair as tourism tops off record year

Travel Industry movers-feature

A new Chair and new Director have been appointed to the Board of Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC), it was announced following the Annual General Meeting of the Queensland RTO.

David Ryan had been elected as the new Chair, replacing Grant Hunt, who stepped down following the completion of his three year term.

Mr Ryan is a Sunshine Coast resident who brings to the Board an extensive history of executive and board positions in major financial organisations and tourism groups. He was a non-executive Director of Virgin Blue and fulfilled a number of roles over a 15 year period with the Virgin Group, culminating in his appointment to the Global Advisory Board of the Virgin Group. Since joining the VSC Board in 2015, Mr Ryan has been Chairman of the VSC Risk Management and Audit Committee.

In other Board changes, long-serving Board member Ian McNicol stood down after six years, and will be replaced by Ashley Howden, a specialist in the digital transformation of organisations. Fraser Green was reappointed unopposed in the member-elected director’s position.

The new appointments were announced as Sunshine Coast Airport revealed that it had attracted over one million passenger movements for the first time in a 12 month period on the back of the return of Qantas to the Sunshine Coast, investment in capacity by Jetstar and Virgin Australia on Sydney and Melbourne routes, the continued growth in popularity of Air New Zealand services from Auckland, and the start of Jetstar flights from Adelaide.

New VSC Chair, David Ryan, said the Airport’s stellar performance had contributed significantly to the region’s 2015/2016 tourism success. With the drive market complementing the growth in air traffic, the Sunshine Coast grew its domestic visitor numbers by 7.8 percent to 3.1 million for the year, and expenditure grew by 6.2 percent to $1.9 billion, the region’s best domestic figures in over a decade. The international market recorded 3.5 percent growth to 366,000 visitors and expenditure increased by 26.7 percent to $245.3 million for 2015/16.


2. Malaysia Airlines appoints new Head of Sales


Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) today announced the appointment of Yeoh Hock Thye as Head of Sales effective 3 January 2017.

MAB Chief Executive Officer, Peter Bellew said: “On behalf of the management team, I am pleased to welcome Yeoh to the Malaysia Airlines family. Yeoh brings with him over 26 years of experience in revenue/channel management and distribution, airline operations, people management, relationship building as well as finance and administration which were developed through experience and exposure in international carriers. I look forward to working with him in driving the development and deployment of effective and customized sales and customer interaction and experience strategies.”

He joins Malaysia Airlines from his previous role as Delta Airlines’ Director for Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia where he successfully established and led a new regional multinational corporate and Asia Sales Support team based in Singapore. The team overlooked sales, relationship and sales support for global corporate accounts, TMCs and key travel partners in Asia Pacific.

In Northwest Airlines, Yeoh was General Manager where he was responsible for the sales, marketing, finance and operational activities for the airline’s passenger services in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. He also managed through the Northwest Airline’s Chapter 11 filing in 2005 and the merger with Delta in 2008.

Prior to that, he was accountable for all finance and administrative matters in Singapore Airlines when he was the Administration Manager in Bangkok, Thailand. He was also based in Singapore where he took on the role of Regional Accountant.

Yeoh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from National University of Singapore.


3. Magellan Travel Group recruits new Marketing Manager


Magellan Travel Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Michelle Kerr to the role of Marketing Manager, based at their Head Office in Melbourne.

Michelle has an extensive background in Marketing and joins Magellan with 10 years’ experience in the travel industry. She combined her love of marketing and travel when she commenced working with Qantas Holidays as Trade Marketing Manager. Since that time she has held a variety of roles covering Brand Management, Strategy and Communications, Regional Sales Management, Account Management and more recently in Supplier Partnerships and Product Development.

“Michelle’s role will be to promote Magellan to the Industry as the leading Travel Group for Premium Leisure and Corporate Independent Agents and will encompass PR, Promotions, Digital and Social Media,” said Andrew Macfarlane, CEO.

“This is not a B2C marketing role as there is no change to our strategy of members independently managing and promoting their own brands. Michelle will however, provide a vital conduit between our preferred suppliers and our members for local marketing opportunities.

“We’re thrilled to have someone of her calibre join us as part of our strategy to build Head Office talent ready for continued growth”


4. Stephen Morahan appointed as General Manager of Aloft Perth

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Australia’s first hotel under the Aloft brand, Aloft Perth, is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen Morahan as General Manager.  Slated to open in August 2017, Aloft Perth will launch the brand into Australia with additional Aloft Hotels scheduled to open in Adelaide and Melbourne in 2019.

In his role, Stephen will be responsible for appointing a strong opening team and establishing Aloft Perth as a destination for the next generation of travellers, who are drawn to the brand and the hotel’s energetic social atmosphere, innovative initiatives and modern style.

“It’s great to be back in Australia after five years in Thailand and I’m delighted to be heading up the team that will open the first Aloft hotel in Australia,” said Stephen Morahan.

“Aloft resonates with today’s hyper-connected global traveller with its distinctive style, innovative programming and approach to technology. Designed to shake up the staid and traditional mid-market hotel sector, we are excited to redefine this category in Perth.”

Stephen began his career with Marriott International, which recently completed its merger transaction of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, in 2006 as Restaurant & Venue Manager for the recent Sheraton Noosa Resort and Spa, where he was responsible for overseeing the resort’s diverse mix of food and beverage venues. From there he went on to pursue various roles, including Banquet Manager at The Westin Sydney, Executive Assistant Manager of Food & Beverage at Sheraton on the Park, Sydney and Hotel Manager at The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa, Phuket.

For the past four years, Stephen held the position of General Manager at Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort in Thailand, where he oversaw every aspect of the property’s operations. With over 10 years’ experience working for Marriott International, Stephen brings a wealth of experience to his new role.

As General Manager for Aloft Perth, Stephen will report to Sean Hunt, Area Vice President, Australia, New Zealand & Pacific at Marriott International.

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