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Who's the Industry movers and shakers this week?

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. Scoot appoints new Head for Australia. Airline experience and solid commercial strength.

Dennis Basham.

Dennis Basham.

Scoot today announced the appointment of Dennis Basham to the role of General Manager for Australia, effective immediately, following Darren Wright’s move back to Flight Centre.

In recognising Darren Wright’s contribution, Steve Greenway, Head of Commercial for Scoot, commented “ Darren has been part of the Scoot start-up team, during the most vital phases of its growth and has successfully bought three Australian ports (Sydney, Gold Coast and Perth) online, and he and his teams have created a very strong brand awareness and presence in the Australian aviation market.”

Dennis brings with him a wealth of airline industry talent, skills and contacts, that the two year-old airline will utilise as its network grows with the arrival of its first Dreamliners later this year.

His primary focus at Scoot will be to continue to bolster support and new initiatives in trade and distribution and building on the brand recognition that the airline has built in two short years.

“It is great to be back in a group of aviation specialists, that has worked together previously, and to be among a successful, friendly and innovative young team. I look forward to ensuring the colour yellow is instantly recognizable and associated with our young and fresh brand, Scoot.”

 Dennis Basham, Scoot

Dennis has spent the past fourteen and a half years building the Virgin Australia group’s products, commencing with Groups and Conferences in 2000, Travel Industry Account Manager in Sydney, National Wholesale Manager and finishing as National Product Manager for Virgin Australia Holidays. Prior to that he worked for Ansett.

Dennis is extremely well known in the industry, and he welcomes anyone to contact him with any enquiries. He can be contacted via email at dennis_basham@flyscoot.com

2. Vincent Durier is appointed as New Director of Food & Beverage of Hotel ICON.

Vincent Durier.

Vincent Durier.

Mr. Vincent Durier is appointed as the Director of Food and Beverage in Hotel ICON. With 12 years of specialisation in the Food and Beverage (F&B) industry, Mr. Durier is expert at F&B operations as well as finance and administration, ranging from outlet management, banquet services, to guest experience enhancement, staff training and development, strategic budgeting and cost controls.

Mr. Durier will be responsible for overseeing the F&B division, including the operations of GREEN, The Market, and Above and Beyond, as well as Banquet Services and pool bar management. Apart from these, Mr. Durier will also take the responsibility of optimising quality control process and leading the F&B team to maximise the ICON brand presence.

Prior to joining Hotel ICON, Mr. Durier was the Head of F&B Department in Starwood Hotels & Resorts, The Saint Regis Bora Bora Resort (French Polynesia), in charge of running a team of 120 staff and driving financial results. Mr. Durier also achieved high global exposure while serving in various international chain hotels, such as InterContinental Hotel Group (The Intercontinental Bora Bora, French Polynesia), and HPL Hotels and Resorts (Rihiveli Beach Resort, Maldives).

Born in Paris, France, Mr. Durier holds a Master of Business Administration (Corporate Finance) from INSEEC Business School, Paris.

3. IHG Announces Senior Leadership Changes in Asia, Middle East and Africa. 

Alan Watts

Alan Watts.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies announced a number of strategic changes to its Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) Regional Operating Committee.

Alan Watts, previously Chief Operating Officer (COO), Australasia and Japan, and Operations Performance, AMEA, will now oversee the performance of the region’s 246 hotels across 37 countries and territories. In his expanded role as COO for Asia, Middle East and Africa, Alan will be supported by Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Officer, India, Middle East and Africa and Phil Broad, Vice President, Food & Beverage, AMEA.

Clarence Tan, previously Chief Operating Officer for South East Asia and Resorts based in Bangkok, Thailand, has been appointed Senior Vice President, Development for AMEA. Paul Logan will take on the newly created position of Chief Development Officer. Over the next 15 months, Paul will transition his growth responsibilities to Clarence, culminating in his retirement at the end of 2015. They both report directly to the region’s Chief Executive Officer Jan Smits.

Alan and Paul continue to be based at IHG’s regional head office in Singapore and Clarence, who is currently based in Bangkok, will relocate there in due course.

“In the past three years since we formed this geographically, and culturally, diverse region of Asia, Middle East and Africa, we have grown to a total of over 245 hotels across five brands, with another 137 in our development pipeline.”

Jan Smits, Chief Executive Officer, AMEA, IHG

“Our regions’ success and strategic growth is a reflection of the depth and diversity of our talent; and I have made these changes to our senior leadership team in response to the fast evolving landscape in which we operate. Paul has been a key driver in our growth story and he will continue to be so. Both Alan and Clarence have been with IHG for more than a decade and in their new roles they will continue to play an important part in our journey, ensuring we deliver on the expectations of our guests, hotel owners and guests.”

IHG has 246 hotels open in 37 countries and territories across five brands: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites. There are a further 137 hotels in the region’s development pipeline due to open in the next three to five years, including the first Hotel Indigo in AMEA, due to open in Bangkok, Thailand by 2015.

4. World Resorts of Distinction appoints new Sales Manager, New Zealand.

Lisa Linn

Lisa Linn.

The management and team at World Resorts of Distinction are delighted to announce the appointment of Lisa Linn as its new Sales Manager for New Zealand.

In making this exciting appointment, WRD’s Managing Director, Fiona Wozney, noted that, “Lisa’s focus will be retail and wholesale consultant engagement, delivering high levels of visibility and interaction with WRD’s renowned portfolio of boutique resorts.”

“Lisa has been working in the travel industry for over 20 years in a variety of roles from retail consulting to sales and wholesale account management. Her passion for the travel industry was recognised by her being a finalist in the NZIM Young Executive of the Year and Best Sales Executive at the New Zealand Travel Industry awards.

“We very much look forward to Lisa delivering top-notch service to our industry partners and resort clients, and welcome her to the WRD team.”

Fiona Wozney.

5. Silky Bedi joins Tourism Portfolio in new Sales Coordinator role.

Tourism Portfolio

Silky Bedi.

Bedi has more than 10 years’ experience in the travel industry, having worked with some of Australia’s leading wholesale companies, including Adventure World, Creative Holidays and Qantas Holidays, along with Trafalgar Tours in the United Kingdom.

Most recently she worked as Contract Manager for Rising Stars Travel, a specialist in sport travel management.

In her new role Bedi is responsible for supporting Tourism Portfolio’s business development activities and assisting in the promotion of the Sydney-based company’s evolving suite of products.

These include international DMCs, luxury properties and high-end meeting venues across Australia, and bespoke tours across South East Asia, the Middle East and North America.

Tourism Portfolio is currently one of the travel industry’s fastest-growing sales and marketing representation organisations and Managing Director Donna Kessler says Bedi’s experience and commitment will help maintain the company’s current trajectory.

“Silky brings to the team a sound understanding of the travel industry, along with proven customer service skills and a passion for building strong relationships. As Sales Coordinator she will play a pivotal role in supporting Tourism Portfolio’s ongoing expansion.”

Donna Kessler.

 6. Crowne Plaza Canberra Appoints New General Manager

Tina Fisher.

Tina Fisher.

Crowne Plaza Canberra is pleased to announce the appointment of Tina Fisher as its new General Manager, bringing with her a wealth of expertise to Canberra city’s premiere accommodation.

Tina has a strong marketing and sales background, with over 25 years experience in hotels, travel and membership organisations. In her last role as General Manager, Sales & Marketing at the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia, Tina was responsible for developing strategies for revenue growth, leadership positioning and member engagement.

Tina is no stranger to the Crowne Plaza brand. When working Africa’s leading hotel operator, Southern Sun Hotels, Tina oversaw a number of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)-branded franchises, including Crowne Plaza.

“I look forward to leading the hotel team in delivering the same excellence in service and facilities for which Crowne Plaza Canberra is renowned, and encouraging locals and visitors to experience our first class offerings. We are very excited that Canberra was recently named the best city in the world by an Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development report, and can’t wait to show our guests what our city has to offer.”

Tina Fisher.

Crowne Plaza Canberra suits both leisure and business traveller needs. Its extensive range of facilities and services are designed to meet the needs of every guest, whether travelling alone, or with a partner or group. While the hotel is located just two minutes’ walk from Canberra’s National Convention Centre, it also offers six premium meeting rooms, as well as onsite dining venues.

Only 10 minutes’ drive to Canberra Airport, five minutes’ walk into the CBD and surrounded by some of the city’s best cultural, dining and entertainment attractions, it is the perfect choice for guests.

What’s your reactions to these top appointments? Share your congratulations below