After a remarkable period of growth following last year’s acquisition of Sunferries in Townsville and Sydney-based Captain Cook Cruises, the SeaLink Travel Group has announced five senior appointments.
Paul Victory is SeaLink Queensland’s (formerly Sunferries) new General Manager, Michael Niemann is SeaLink Travel Group’s Fleet Manager and Michael Shepley is the Client Relationship Manager for SeaLink Travel Group’s IT Development Team.
Looking after South Australian operations, Dean Bagley is the new Product Development Manager and Mike Furber is SeaLink’s new Business Development Manager.
Paul Victory, General Manager, SeaLink Queensland
Based in Queensland, Paul is responsible for 70 staff and four vessels operating between Townsville and Magnetic and Palm Islands.
He has been with SeaLink for nearly nine years, starting out with its well-known Adelaide Sightseeing day tour business and most recently writing sales for SeaLink of more than $20 million as its Business Development Manager.
In this role, he managed a sales and business development team and worked with travel agents, wholesalers and inbound tour operators from international and national tourism markets.
He was also instrumental in the development of the TravelLink brand wholesaling events such as the Great Australian Outback Cattle Drive, Clipsal 500 Adelaide, Adelaide Festival and the establishment of the Adelaide to Melbourne Touring Route.
Paul has also managed a number of businesses within the SeaLink Travel Group including the Australian Holiday Centres, Vivonne Bay Lodge, Ski Connection and Adelaide Sightseeing.
He has extensive knowledge of the tourism industry having worked with the South Australian Tourism Commission’s Flinders and Outback region.
“Paul has had a long and successful career with the SeaLink Travel Group in management and business development and we are pleased to now be able to bring his outstanding skills to our SeaLink Queensland team,” SeaLink Travel Group Managing Director Mr Jeff Ellison says.
“Paul’s interpersonal skills, collaboration, team work and creative skills will also be of great benefit.
“His vision, which matches ours, is to grow the SeaLink Queensland business to be more than just a commuter service operating between one port and another. We will work with tourism and accommodation operators and the business communities of Townsville and Magnetic Island to ensure that our products and services are enhanced and that we are recognised as a tourism leader in this field and in this region. There are many opportunities in the North Queensland region that we will be exploring.”
Michael Niemann, Fleet Manager, SeaLink Travel Group
This new position follows an increase in fleet size to 22 vessels after SeaLink’s purchase of Captain Cook Cruises, which operates vessels on Sydney Harbour and the River Murray, in September 2011 and the earlier purchase of Sunferries in Townsville (now SeaLink Queensland) in March 2011.
The former South Australian has had experience with Sydney Ferries, Brisbane Ferries, Defence Maritime Services and the Captain Cook Cruises Murray Princess vessel. He begins work in May, based at SeaLink’s head office in Adelaide, when his contract with the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport finishes.
“This position will be responsible for long-term planning for each vessel with regard to upgrade, refurbishment and replacement,” Mr Ellison says.
“The Fleet Manager will work closely with the General Managers and Marine Operations Managers and engineering staff of each business to ensure a co-ordinated and strategic approach to our fleet management in the short, medium and long term.”
Michael Shepley, Client Relationship Manager, IT Development Team, SeaLink Travel Group
Responsible for implementing the new QuickTravel software and training clients including SeaLink’s South Australian businesses, Michael has been with the SeaLink Travel Group for 18 years holding various positions including Product Manager, Call Centre Manager and IT Development Manager.
He will manage SeaLink Travel Group’s external clients including SeaLink South Australia, SeaLink Queensland, Sea Stradbroke, Fantasea Cruising Magnetic and Sea SA, which recommences its ferry service between Wallaroo and Lucky Bay later this year.
He will also continue to test the QuickTravel software and implement it into the SeaLink Travel Group’s recently acquired businesses as well as work on new customer development, deployment and upgrades of the software.
Dean Bagley, Product Development Manager, SeaLink South Australia
Dean Bagley recently joined the SeaLink Travel Group and will head up the Product Development Team in Adelaide.
Dean will be responsible for product planning and execution of all SeaLink’s South Australian tourism products/brands, working at a strategic level and defining the product vision.
With more than 29 years’ experience in the tourism industry, Dean brings a wealth of knowledge and skills having held positions with Dysons Bus Services in Melbourne, South Australian Tourism Commission, Tourism Australia and more recently as General Manager of The Manna of Hahndorf.
Mike Furber, Business Development Manager, SeaLink South Australia
Mike Furber is heading up the Business Development team, responsible for sales growth of all SeaLink brands to both industry and direct to consumers.
With nearly 40 years’ experience in the travel and tourism industry, Mike brings a wealth of experience to the SeaLink Travel Group. He was previously with Discovery Holiday Parks where he held the position of Business Development Manager and prior to that held a similar role with Great Southern Rail.
The Business Development Executive role for Adelaide Sightseeing has also recently been filled as well as the appointment of a Business Development Coordinator bringing the total number in the team to six.
SeaLink Travel Group
The SeaLink Travel Group is Australia’s most dynamic tourism and Transport Company with more than 600 staff across the country and more than two million customers annually. This Adelaide based company has undergone remarkable growth, emerging as one of the most significant players on the national tourism scene. Following the recent acquisition of iconic Sydney-based Captain Cook Cruises – adding to an already impressive portfolio – revenue is expected to soar to over $100 million per annum in 2012.
Kangaroo Island SeaLink was founded in 1989 when an international company purchased a ferry service linking Kangaroo Island with the South Australian mainland. In 1996, the company was acquired by a syndicate of South Australian investors and staff members… and has never looked back.
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