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



1. New GM for Cook Islands Tourism Corporation

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Graeme West has been appointed to the newly created role of General Manager Australia and New Zealand for the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation.

Mr West has been General Manager New Zealand for five years, and Acting General Manager Australia for several months.

Announcing the appointment, the Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Halatoa Fua said Graeme’s strategic approach together with his knowledge, energy and passion for growing tourism in the Cook Islands was a valuable asset for the industry.

“Graeme has been instrumental in growing visitor numbers from New Zealand to record high levels along with an accompanying increase in visitor yield and the Board is confident he will continue to develop both markets moving forward,” he said.

Mr Fua said the appointment followed several months of re-evaluation of the Corporation’s Australian operations and activity, which had also identified the need to be based in Sydney.

“Sydney is our largest source market and where many of our partners are located.  Accordingly, our Australian office will relocate from Queensland to Sydney early in 2017,” he said.

“We will be recruiting for a Marketing Manager, Sales Ambassador and Marketing Co-ordinator shortly.”

Mr West will work across both offices, from his base in New Zealand.


2. Sabre taps Traci Mercer to lead B2B digital commerce for hotel, car, cruise & rail

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Sabre Corporation, the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, has appointed Traci Mercer as senior vice president of hotel, car, cruise and rail, to lead commercial efforts and supplier relationships for the company’s growing land and sea customer portfolio worldwid

In this position, Mercer will focus on defining a strategic direction and commercial initiatives to cater to the needs of lodging, hospitality, ground and sea transportation providers, ensuring Sabre is developing industry leading technology that meets distribution and e-commerce needs of this customer segment. She will be based at Sabre’s global headquarters in Southlake, Texas, and report to Sean Menke, president of Travel Network.

“Traci is a dynamic and data-oriented seasoned executive who brings more than 15 years of travel industry experience to help us drive and close new commercial opportunities in the strategic non-air segment,” said Menke.

“We are bolstering the leadership in our supplier commerce department. As senior vice president of air commerce, Chris Wilding will continue to oversee the diversification of needs for more than 400 airlines participating in the Sabre travel marketplace, while Traci will strategically engage and support our commitment to hotel, car, cruise and rail customers.”

Mercer’s industry experience includes over 10 years at Expedia, Inc. working in various leadership roles, driving their business strategy and sales operations in North America and Asia-Pacific markets. Most recently, Mercer was global vice president, online revenue & growth, for Hootsuite Media, where she oversaw all revenue streams in Hootsuite’s online product ecosystem and led B2B enterprise demand generation.


3. COMO Hotels & Resorts appoints new GM in the Maldives

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COMO Hotels and Resorts is pleased to announce the appointment of Benjamin Kreuz as General Manager for its renowned Maldivian retreat, COMO Cocoa Island.

German born Benjamin finished Hotel School at The Hague with a BA in Business Administration in Hotel Management, before embarking on a successful hospitality career. With over 10 years’ international experience, Benjamin has successfully led properties in luxury brands within multiple gateway destinations such as China and the USA. Benjamin joins COMO Cocoa Island from his most recent role at Steigenberger Hotel in Hamburg, Germany where he held the position of Hotel Manager.

Hans Jörg Meier, Chief Operating Officer of COMO Hotels and Resorts, said: “I am delighted that Benjamin is joining our COMO family and very confident that his experience in luxury hospitality will elevate COMO Cocoa Island’s guest experience.”


4. Lido appoints Jon West to CCO role

everywoman of Influence Dinner.

Australia’s leading hotel booking and payment solutions provider, The Lido Group, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jon West – former Managing Director of HRS’ operation in the United Kingdom – to the newly-created role of Chief Commercial Officer, based in Sydney.

The Lido Group provides integrated hotel booking and payment solutions to TMCs, major corporations and government organisations. The award-winning company currently works with more than 9,000 hotels across Australia and New Zealand.

West, who spent more than seven years leading HRS in London, is now responsible for developing commercial strategies that will expand The Lido Group’s market share across Asia Pacific.

The Lido Group Chief Executive Steve Mackenzie says West brings extraordinary knowledge and experience to his new role.

“Jon also boasts strong and enduring relationships with a range of global corporate customers and leading TMCs,” Mackenzie said.

“His commercial insights and networks will ensure The Lido Group’s continues to recognise and seize opportunities for growth.”

He says West will also further facilitate the strategic partnership The Lido Group forged in May 2016 with HRS, a global hotel solutions provider headquartered in Germany.

“We are now working closely with HRS to share hotel content, integrate technology and jointly service global TMCs and customers. Jon’s connection with HRS, and his understanding of the company’s solutions, will ensure that together we optimise commercial opportunities and deliver an unrivalled customer experience.”

During a career that spans more than 20 years in the travel and technology sectors, West has held a number of board-level roles. He joined HRS in London in 2009, and helped transform the company by building effective partnerships and helping create industry-leading solutions for travel buyers.

Prior to joining HRS, he was Marketing Director for IS Solutions, a specialist in data collection.

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