Jenny and I have enjoyed a few days away this week, but we are back on deck once again for tonight’s cruise sector night of nights, the highly anticipated “CLIAs” taking place at Sydney’s Luna Park.
And while we haven’t been around, the Travel Daily, Cruise Weekly and travelBulletin team have continued keeping the industry informed, in a week which particularly seemed to be dominated by new appointments. First off, Flight Centre named Lincoln Turvey as its new Chief People and Culture Officer – a newly created senior executive role reporting to CEO Graham “Skroo” Turner with responsibility for the group’s global workforce which now includes over 12,000 full-time employees – and plans to recruit up to 150 sales people every month in Australia for the rest of the year as demand continues to boom.
There were also moves at Journey Beyond where the highly respected Justine Lally was promoted to become the company’s Executive General Manager of Marketing and Product, while Alicia Triggs was named Executive General Manager of Sales & Partnerships. The moves see Lally’s remit also expand to include international marketing representation for the newly added American Queen Voyages brand, which also becomes part of Triggs’ sales portfolio. Journey Beyond also named Joshua Munt as Executive General Manager of Revenue & Analytics.
Continuing on the appointments track, Abercrombie & Kent announced the expansion of its sales team with former Celebrity Cruises staffer Hannah Taylor as Regional Sales Manager for Vic, SA and Tas, while Ann-Marie Chapman, A&K’s former Head of Trade Engagement, becomes Head of Customer Sales & Services. Over at Accor Pacific a restructure saw Renae Trimble promoted to become CEO of Accor Plus, while Anne Gill is taking her place as Senior VP Commercial, Premium, Midscale & Economy and Claire Haigh becomes VP of Communications.
And finally we saw Philippa Walker appointed as Marketing Director APAC at Silversea Cruises (the role vacated last year by Liz Glover who is now GM of Travel Industry Product and Partnerships at News Corp Australia), while CVFR Travel Group appointed former Finnair country manager Arnaud Michelin as General Manager of its Airline Rep Services division, as part of a reshuffle also seeing Gabrielle Vicari promoted to become the operation’s Vice President.
Alongside all those moves, there was also lots of other news this week, including our exclusive revelation of the new Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) accreditation scheme, which automatically comes along with membership renewal for the organisation. CATO also hosted its International Womens Day event, which ended up having Entire Travel Group step in at the last minute as its major sponsor. The keynote speaker was Hoda Alzubaidi, who is our National Sales and Partnerships manager, and we’ve received so much amazing positive feedback after she told her moving personal story.
Finnair announced it was reducing travel agent commission from 5% to 3%; Emirates launched its own dedicated Holidays division in Australia; there was lots of tourism news including Western Australia’s establishment of an office in Vietnam and a new Indigenous experiences website launched by Tourism Australia; and Spain turned its eyes on the Australian outbound market with the appointment of travel and tourism specialist agency Helm as its local representative – I believe the first time Turespana has made a significant investment in a dedicated Australian and New Zealand presence. As always Qantas was in the news – launching an expanded online “marketplace” for points retail therapy and also gaining an unwanted ACCC gong as the most complained about airline in 2021/22.
I’d better leave it there, because I need to get myself psyched up for the CLIAs. It’s going to a busy night for our team, with Cruise Weekly providing all the moment by moment coverage, so keep your eyes on your socials and inbox for all the winners. With all that happening, it’s unlikely you’ll see me on the dance floor, but you never know…