May 21, 2022

ilpuntontc

Just Do Travel

Key appointments: Pro-invest, Sudima, Pullman, and more

4 min read

Pro-invest hires two leaders for NZ team

Pro-invest Hotels has bolstered its New Zealand Hotels team ahead of two landmark openings this month.

Fraser McKenzie has been appointed to the role of Area General Manager, New Zealand and Sunny Goo, to the role of Hotel Manager, voco Auckland City Centre and Holiday Inn Express Auckland City Centre.

Fraser McKenzie

Originally from Auckland, McKenzie spent seven years working in Southeast Asia and Japan with Accor including as Area Manager Midscale and Economy Hotels in Thailand.His most recent role was Representative Director and General Manager in Swissotel Nankai Osaka, and Area Manager, Western Japan.

He will oversee voco Auckland City Centre and Holiday Inn Express Auckland City Centre as well as the brand’s growing portfolio in the region which includes Holiday Inn Express and Suites Queenstown.

“While I have spent a lot of time internationally, New Zealand is home for me and I am thrilled to be at the helm of both of these highly anticipated Pro-invest Hotel openings in 2022,” said McKenzie.

“It’s extremely exciting to be working with such an incredible team that consists of some of New Zealand’s best up and coming talent.

“I’m extremely proud of the team for working together to ensure the successful opening of these hotels during a difficult few months and am excited to be able to welcome visitors back to Auckland as part of the Auckland tourism recovery.”

Sunny Goo, who joins the team as Hotel Manager across both voco Auckland City Centre and Holiday Inn Express Auckland City Centre, has spent the past ten years working with Accor in various roles, including as General Manager of Mercure Auckland Queen Street where she was part of the pre-opening team that launched the property. She also held the Executive Assistant Manager role at Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa where she was part of the core executive team overseeing the renovation project.

Accor names Pullman Cairns GM

Experience hotelier Mark Burns has been appointed General Manager of Accor’s popular Pullman Cairns International hotel, as the property moved into the final phase of a major refurbishment program.

Mark Burns

“Mark’s experience in the five-star sector and talent for elegant, upscale makeovers make him the perfect person to take the helm at this crucial time,” said Accor Pacific CEO, Sarah Derry.

“He has an incredible ability to reinvent a hotel in terms of service culture and food and beverage, and will undoubtedly lead the Pullman team to create a special guest experience.”

Burns is a former General Manager of the Fullerton Hotel Sydney, where he oversaw the hotel’s complete conversion and re-branding from The Westin Sydney in 2019. He also spent more than two decades with Starwood Hotels and Resort, working across several Australian properties.

Prior to that, he worked for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group with positions across Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Indonesia and Hawaii.

In this role, Burns will be tasked with the reinvention of Pullman’s food and beverage venues.

Pullman Cairns International Owner Shakespeare Property Group is committed to investing in the region and is confident in the property’s future under Burns’ leadership.

“Mark is entrusted with delivering on our vision for the Pullman, and we are confident that under his direction we can elevate the hotel to become Tropical North Queensland’s most distinguished destination to stay, indulge and dine,” said Shakespeare Property Group Vice President – Hospitality Assets & Investments, Richard Saab.

Queenstown Sudima welcomes Hotel Manager

Sudima Queenstown Five Mile hotel has welcomed hospitality leader Ali Appelman to the role of Hotel Manager.

Ali Appelman

Appelman has worked in various hospitality roles across New Zealand and the United Kingdom, including, most recently, as General Manager and Area General Manager for JUCY Snooze Queenstown and Christchurch. She also previously held management roles with IHG, Heritage and Mantra group

 Appelman first visited Queenstown in 2007 as a backpacker and has a great love for the region.

“I love the seasons, the colours, the views from every window,” she said.

“You can ski in the morning and ride bikes in the afternoon, it’s a town of opportunity. This region has something for every traveller whether you’re on a family adventure, couples’ getaway, food and wine holiday, golf, mountain biking, hiking, skiing – we really do have something for everyone!”

Sudima Queenstown Five Mile opened in December 2021 and is ready to capitalise on the return of international travellers.  

New PR Manager for Maslina Resorts

Maslina Resort has appointed Richard Thorburn as its new PR Manager.

Richard Thorburn

Thorburn brings extensive marketing and communications experience from roles at luxurious resorts roles across the Middle East including Jumeirah, Six Senses, and InterContinental.

Originally from the UK, he started his career as a freelance journalist and his written for a number of different publications.

“Having come from a journalism background, I know what stories media outlets are interested in, and how to pitch them to get the best possible coverage,” Thorburn said.

“My experience in hospitality spans multiple international brands, where I’ve worked on PR campaigns, digital strategies, social media strategies, and everything in between. I’ll be bringing the best practice from them all to help share the story of Maslina.”

Maslina Resort General Manager, Denis Martin, believes Thorburn’s background puts him in a strong position to create “breakthrough strategies” for Maslina Resort.

“We believe that his well-rounded background in the hotel industry in managing marketing and communication departments in several leading hotels provides him with a thorough understanding of what his position entails,” Martin said.