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managing director and vice- president of Spafinder Europe since 2013.

Damien Mooney

Cruising Excursions recruits ex-Tui Ireland boss Mooney Cruising Excursions has appointed former Tui Travel Ireland boss Damien Mooney as managing director. Mooney will report to chairman John Wimbleton and work alongside chief operating officer Simonne Fairbanks. He was also previously boss of Falcon/ JWT Holidays.

“They were worried that we were going to wipe out the market”

Google’s new UK head of travel, Dr Bernd Foster, reveals the trade’s initial fears about Flight Search and Hotel Finder


Contenders revealed for first Silver Travel Awards The shortlists have been unveiled for the inaugural Silver Travel Awards, honouring suppliers and destinations that best serve the over-50s market. The awards, consisting of 13 categories and voted for by consumers, will be presented at the Natural History Museum on June 4.

Spafinder Wellness promotes Bevan to chief of operations Media and marketing company for the spa and wellness industry Spafinder Wellness has appointed John Bevan as chief operating officer. Bevan has served as

8 • — 7 May 2015

Strength of pound creates surge in currency sales Foreign currency brokers are reporting a surge in sales, prompted by the strength of the pound. Thomas Cook has sold £22.8 million worth of euros in the past two weeks, while the Post Office’s sales of the Croatian kuna in April were up 91% on the same month in 2014. Saga Travel also reported euro sales between February and April were double that for the same period last year.

Magic Rooms appoints joint managing directors Manny Fontenla-Novoa, chairman of Magic Rooms, has appointed two joint managing directors following Brian Young’s move to G Adventures. Current Magic

Rooms finance director Peter Redwood is to take on the HR, legal and IT elements of the role, while Dean Jones joins from Travelsoon and Travelbugz to oversee the sales, marketing and operational functions. Jo Packham has been promoted to purchasing director.

Spearing takes role as Aito’s agent coordinator Lizzie Spearing has replaced Tara Gandhi as agent coordinator at the Association of Independent Tour Operators (Aito). She will develop and administer the partnership between 90 operators and 120 agents.

Cunard’s Queens make history in

Southampton Cunard marked the start of its 175th anniversary celebrations by welcoming the three Queens into Southampton. The ships arrived in Hampshire

following three-month world cruises. Flagship Queen Mary 2 then led Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria out of Southampton – for the first time in daylight. The trio will reunite later this month

for another anniversary celebration. On May 25, the three Queens will meet on the Mersey, in Liverpool. The celebration is expected to

attract more than a million people. Cunard invited agents to both


Operators cancel trips to Nepal for rest of month Tour operators have had to cancel trips to earthquake-stricken Nepal until the end of the month, despite initially hoping to resume operations on May 11. Intrepid Travel and G

Adventures confirmed trips had been cancelled until June. A spokesman

A spokesman for G Adventures said: “Our focus has been on repatriating our travellers and on getting supplies to villages in need via Planeterra, our non-profit organisation. “We’re doing all we can to raise


for the latter said this was “due to the level of damage to infrastructure”. The April 25 earthquake has killed more than 7,500 people and injured almost 15,000, with UK agencies warning of serious disease as a result. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has advised against all but essential travel to the country. At present, Intrepid and G

Lizzie Spearing

Adventures are focusing on fundraising, before longer-term plans are made. They have so far raised £170,000 and £103,000 respectively.

doing all

we can to raise funds to help rebuild Nepal”

funds to help Nepal rebuild its infrastructure, so it will be ready to receive tourists as soon as possible.” G Adventures said its Nepal trips formed a “small but significant part of our business due to

the trekking, which is hugely popular for

adventure travellers”.

Intrepid said it sends about 1,400 passengers to Nepal a year. A spokesman for Wendy Wu

Tours added: “We have cancelled our Himalayan Adventure tour, travelling out on May 13.” The operator has also rerouted its tours to Tibet in May.

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