Tony Laskey has resigned from his position as director of marketing and communications in New Zealand with The Travel Corporation – 21 years after he started with Contiki in the UK.
His last day will be Friday 25 January and he will start his new role as general manager industry engagement with Service IQ, the industry training organisation for aviation, hospitality, museums, retail, travel and tourism, soon after.
Laskey began his career with Contiki UK/Ireland early in 1998 and continued as a European trip manager before moving back to New Zealand. He became Contiki NZ's general manager in 2007 and subsequent roles included heading up the Contiki Asia sales and marekting team and establishing the mutli-brand TTC NZ marketing and communications team.
The Auckland team at Tempo Holidays and Bentours has a fresh look, with three new team members joining over the past few weeks.
One, Jo Rees, is a ‘returnee’ who worked with the company for some eight years before stints at House of Travel and Viva Expeditions / Chimu Adventures.
Sarah Beedell has joined after three and a half years at Flight Centre, while Yvette McKinnon is also in the Auckland office having had an airline background with Japan Airlines and Singapore Airlines, and a stint in retail travel before that.
Outrigger Enterprises Group has appointed Scott Miyasato as senior vice president and general counsel, reporting to Outrigger Hotels and Resorts’ CEO Jeff Wagoner and serving as a member of the company’s executive team. Miyasato will head Outrigger’s legal department and support the company by representing its interests in a portfolio of legal matters. Miyasato comes to Outrigger from Hawaiian Airlines, where he served as its associate general counsel with a focus on commercial transactions
Toby Butland is now head of marketing, Haka Tourism Group. Butland kicked of his career as both marketing manager and guide for Franz Josef Glacier Guides, before heading up marketing for tour operator TrekAmerica in the UK. Coming back home to NZ, he had a stint as brand manager at Avis Budget Group, before joining Haka Tours.
Meantime, Chris Bain, sales manager, Haka Tourism Group has moved to Brisbane with the company. Before joining Haka he was with Flight Centre NZ and following that spent two years with Coconuts Travel Marketing. He is tasked with the expansion of Haka Tourism Group’s wholesale and retail global partnerships.
Graham Perry has been appointed managing director of Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Australasia. He was most recently chief executive officer, Inland NSW while previous roles include CEO See Australia, CEO Traveland, managing director Classifieds at Fairfax Media and managing director Utell International.
Tracy Harris is the new business development executive for Francis Travel Marketing.
Residing in Ashburton, she has worked for the past five years with Ballance AgriNutrients as an On Farm Sales Representative and Social Media Ambassador. Harris will be covering the South Island and lower North Island.
The Globus family of brands has announced that long-time travel industry executive, Gai Tyrrell, will take the helm as managing director for the company’s Australasia office in mid-August. Tyrrell most recently held the positions of regional director for Australia and New Zealand, Hawaiian Airlines and Vice President and CEO, Sabre Pacific.
Rocky Mountaineer has announced the appointment of Amber Wilson as director of sales for the Australian and New Zealand markets.
Sarah Hunter has been appointed general manager, GO Holidays in New Zealand. Hunter recently returned to New Zealand after nearly seven years in the UAE where she completed her MBA with Strathclyde University, before taking up a senior leadership role within dnata’s B2C Middle East and India travel business.
Reporting to head of wholesale & inbound, Cinzia Burnes, Hunter will be charged with maximising GO Holiday’s B2B relationships to position them as the wholesaler of choice for New Zealand’s retail travel industry. For Hunter, there will be a ring of familiarity to the role, having previously headed up GO Holidays and worked with the business through the mid 90’s up until 2010. Hunter says however that this is ‘very much a new chapter, as opposed to a return.’ Hunter will commence her new role on 16 July based in the Auckland offices.
Having a passion for selling travel, a commercial background and the guidance of mentors are the keys for a good start in the industry, says Tracey LeeLewis, of helloworld Waipukurau.
Lee-Lewis is a finalist in the TAANZ National Travel Industry Awards 2018 and has been in the travel industry for nine months. She says that having travelled across the world, ‘though there are still many stones unturned,’ she is passionate about making others’ dreams comes true. ‘And working as a lawyer for the 10 years prior to my entry into the travel industry has given me a good commercial understanding of how a successful business operates. Plus with the help and guidance of an inspiring mentor – the helloworld family – I have been able to hit the ground running.’ She says holidays to Australia and the South Pacific are ‘bread and butter’ business. ‘But we also have a strong cruising clientele, river cruising in particular. My involvement in the running of the business will allow my business partner (and mother, Ellen Lee) to focus on tours and escorted group travel.
Richard Birkby is joining Wanaka ski area Treble Cone as Brand Manager. An experienced marketer with 20 years’ experience working for internationally renowned brands in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, Birkby starts his new role in mid-June.
He moved to Wanaka from Sydney, where he worked for leading advertising and marketing agency HOST, nearly five years ago because he wanted to spend more time skiing. In his fiqrst year in Wanaka he commuted weekly to Auckland where he was group business director for world-class creative agency Colenso BBDO, before spending three years as head of brand and marketing at Wanaka-based Mons Royale.
Seeing brokers accepted as true professionals in the travel industry has been one of the most significant (and satisfying) developments for Dave Wallace, who retires as general manager of Travel Managers Group at the end of this year.
Two Flight Centre stalwarts are celebrating 30 years with the company next month – and though their careers within the company have gone in different directions there was an early cross over in their paths. Lynaire (Harry) Monnery is a Flight Centre Travel Broker, based in Thorndon, Wellington. (TRAVELinc Memo published her story last Friday, 11 May.) Sue Matson is national leader – retail brands with the Fight Centre Travel Group based in Wellington.
Sue Matson started with the company at what was originally called Wellington Flight Centre. ‘This was the same name as a flying school based at the airport, which was a bit of an issue when people called to ask if we could teach them to fly – but of course we could! That shop is still operating – it’s changed names and locations a few times and now sits on Willis Street.’ Matson says she was a travel consultant who ‘started knowing nothing and learnt something every day for the six years I spent on the front line.’ Matson has been with Flight Centre Travel Group since then but has had (at last count) something like 10 different jobs in the 30 years. ‘Each one of those roles has taken me out of my comfort zone and challenged my personal belief in my abilities. FCTG has had a knack at believing in me before I have believed in myself and I guess I’ve gone on to prove them right. Anything is possible when someone believes in you and that’s very rewarding.’
Matson says challenges over the years have varied depending on her role. ‘In the front line, customers are the biggest challenge and the greatest reward. Once you realise it is all about building strong and personal relationships with your customers, then you will always find success. It’s about integrity and trust… and a bit of humour.’ In support roles customers ultimately remain the focus she says. ‘However our (Flight Centre) people become the challenge and the joy. The frustration can be where people don’t see the potential in their situation or themselves but the joy and reward is when they get it – and they start to see great personal success and – wow, how they grow. Matson says the leisure travel industry will always be about making the customer experience ‘more and more fabulous – both before, during and after the trip. ‘Technology will play a massive part in bringing all those pieces together, but I feel we will move more towards intimate and rewarding one on one relationships between customers and travel experts. If you ask any customer who has relied upon the skills, knowledge and relationship with a great travel expert over a number of years they will say having this relationship is what makes it work for them.’