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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 and shakers!

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



1. Baker moves from Tourism Aus to RedBalloon

Nick Baker from RedBalloonRedBalloon has appointed for Tourism Australia Chief Marketing Manager, Nick Baker as its new CEO.

Baker joins after seven years leading the marketing team at Australia’s tourist board, during which  time he was responsible for overseeing three of Tourism Australia’s most successful global campaigns including Oprah Winfrey’s visit to Australia.

Stepping into his new head role at RedBalloon on 16 March, he will be responsible for expanding RedBalloon’s customer and merchant base as well as exploring new markets.

He is also looking to recruit a new head of marketing to help implement his vision for the company.

Baker said he’s considered a number of role after Tourism Australia, but he couldn’t turn down RedBalloon because the company’s ethos of recognising its employees.

“At RedBalloon there is a definite sense of people being part of something bigger than themselves, and I am really excited about leading and working with its fantastic team.”

Nick Baker, RedBalloon Chief Executive


2. Los Cabos Tourism Board’s new Commercial Director

Luis Palacios from  Los Cabos Tourism Board The Los Cabos Tourism Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Luis Palacios Larrañaga as Commercial Director.

Luis will assumed the role of Commercial Director for the Los Cabos Tourism Board yesterday, overseeing all aspects of international and domestic promotion of the destination.

Before joining the Los Cabos Tourism Board, Luis served as Executive Director of the Baja California Sur Tourism Board, where among other things he was mainly in charge of coordinating the Airlines and Routes Committee for all airports of the State including the airport of Los Cabos that since 2011 has seen a growth of over 500,000 seats from different airlines.

He said he’s excited to step into the role to represent a destination he expects will have a great year.

Secretary of Tourism of the State of Baja California Sur, Ruben Reachi; Los Cabos Hotel Association President, Enrique Turcott; and President of Southern Baja California Timeshare Developers Association, Paul Little are all very happy for Luis in his new role and look forward to working closely with him.


3. ecruising’s team expands

Amanda from ecruising Online cruise specialist ecruising.travel have appointed Amanda Mukhtar as marketing manager, to assist and further develop the company’s brand position in the cruise industry.

Mrs Mukhar began her travel industry career in 2005 at Corporate Travel Management as a consultant and moved into the luxury travel market at Captains Choice where her role evolved into the marketing team.

Executive general manager of Ecruising, Alastair Fernie, welcomes Ms Mukhar and says that her strengths will benefit the company and assist its continuous growth and expansion in Australia.

Mrs Mukhar said she is looking forward to being a part of this growth and continuing to pioneer the way Australians consumers purchase a cruise holiday.


4. GM movements at Mantra

Daniel Russell from the Mantra Group Mantra Group has announced a number of movements with General Manager appointments across its portfolio of Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree properties.

The movement of General Managers has provided opportunities for new talent and existing employees to diversify their product knowledge, and make way for aspiring leaders to move into management positions.

Daniel Russell has been appointed from within the Group to General Manager at Mantra Wings on the Gold Coast.

Daniel has had an extensive history at Mantra Group, undertaking General Manager positions at Mantra on Kent Street and BreakFree Rainbow Shores and most recently a caretaking role at BreakFree Diamond Beach.

Troy Fettes has also stepped into a new position within the Group as General Manager, Mantra Sierra Grand Broadbeach.

As part of the opening team for Peppers Broadbeach as Building Manager, Troy brings an immense level of experience and understanding in the area of Strata and Asset Management. Craig Smith, General Manager at Peppers Broadbeach has been appointed as the new Area Manager for southern Surfers/Broadbeach region on the Gold Coast.

Craig’s experience, combined with his energy, leadership skills and contagious enthusiasm are a strong fit for the role and will be an important influence in his portfolio of properties, including Peppers Broadbeach, Mantra Sierra Grand, Mantra Broadbeach in the Park and Mantra Wings.

As a recent graduate of Mantra Group’s Rising Star program, Thomas Berstad is the latest graduate of Mantra Group’s Rising Stars program to be promoted into his first General Management position at Mantra One Sandy Bay Road in Hobart.

During his career with the Group, Thomas has performed a variety of roles in the Front Office and Food and Beverage and will be a welcome addition to the team of General Managers at Mantra Group.

Rodney McGlew joins the Group as General Manager at Mantra Bunbury Hotel from The Lord Forrest Hotel Bunbury where he has successfully led the team as General Manager.

His fresh perspective, combined breadth of knowledge in key functions will be a vital asset for the Group.

With over 25 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, Jason Patterson joins Mantra Group as General Manager at one of the newest properties to join the Group, Mantra Wollongong.

Most recently Jason was General Manager at Quantum Hospitality where he was part of the opening team and was responsible for the daily operations of the Qube Aurum Serviced Apartments in Perth.

Nathan Copsey joins the Group as General Manager of Mantra on Jolimont situated just metres from Melbourne Park’s sporting and entertainment venues.

Formerly General Manager at the Tune Hotel, Melbourne where he has worked since pre-opening in 2013, Nathan has also worked in a variety of positions at the Parkview Hotel, St Kilda Road, Melbourne.


5. Trafalgar strengthens Queensland team

Trafalgar The global leader in guided holidays, Trafalgar has strengthened its Queensland and northern New South Wales sales team with the appointment of NTIA award finalist, Anna Powell, to the role of Sales Manager for Queensland and northern NSW. With nearly 20 years of experience within the tourism industry, Anna brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise from her previous roles as Senior Sales Executive for Singapore Airlines, Group Development Manager at Seniors Holiday Travel and Queensland’s Business Development Manager for GSA Airline Marketing Australia. Matthew Cameron-Smith, Managing Director, Trafalgar Australia said the company is excited to have Anna onboard and provide her ‘unique understanding and awareness of today’s traveller’.

6. San Fran gets new PR

Elisabeth San Francisco Elisabeth Wieselthaler-Toelly has joined San Francisco Travel Association as Director of Public Relations.

In her new position, she will oversee international public relations efforts, generating publicity world-wide for San Francisco as a leisure, business and convention travel destination.

Wieselthaler-Toelly will work with San Francisco Travel’s representatives in Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, China (Beijing and Shanghai), France, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, Japan, Korea, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom.

Media relations for Canada and the United States are directed by Laurie Armstrong.


7. SALA Hospitality Group’s new appointment

SALA Hospitality SALA Hospitality Group has announced the appointment of Nicolas Reschke as Group Director of Business Development.

Nicolas joins SALA Hospitality Group with more than 10 years of experience in luxury hotel sales, most recently at Sutera Harbour Resort in Malaysia and Marriott International.

In his role he will be responsible for overseeing the entire sales and marketing division of the company. SALA Hospitality Group is one of Thailand’s highly acclaimed luxury boutique hotel groups in Thailand with properties in Phuket, Koh Samui, Khao Yai, Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Ayutthaya.


8. Trails of Indochina scores industry veteran

John Watson from Trails of Indochina Industry veteran John Watson has stepped into the role of leading specialist tour operator and DMC for Trails of Indochina.

Founder and owner of Trails of Indochina, John Tue Nguyen, said he’s excited to have John join the team, particularly with his extensive background in general management and sales and marketing in leisure travel.

John said he had to pursue the role because of the company’s quality, history and reputation.

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