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[Friday 26 June 2020:] The Board of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) today announced the appointment of Darren Rudd as CEO, effective from Monday, 29 June.

AFTA Chair Tom Manwaring said Mr Rudd was selected following a rigorous executive recruitment process.

“Darren is an outstanding choice, with a wealth of experience across business and stakeholder management. The skills and networks he brings to the role will be invaluable as we navigate the new and emerging industry landscape.”

Mr Rudd joins AFTA from the global information services business Tata Consultancy Services where he has served as Head of Corporate Affairs in Australia and New Zealand for the past four years.

He brings to the organisation extensive experience in strategic marketing and corporate engagement, including 11 years as GM Services Business Group Asia/Pacific for Alcatel-Lucent and five years as Lead Corporate Affairs Manager at NBN. The appointment also marks full circle for the new CEO. Mr Rudd began his career in Hong Kong designing core Hotel Information Systems (HIS/IBM).

Mr Manwaring added:

“Darren’s track record in successfully mapping and implementing campaigns that deliver results, his commitment to harnessing the immense power of our AFTA members through targeted grassroots activation, and his ability to identify and convert opportunities into real advantage were instrumental in him being selected for the role. The AFTA team, family and Board are excited to welcome him aboard.”

Darren Rudd said:

“It is an honour to join AFTA at this critical time. I look forward to working with members, the Board and industry stakeholders as we work our way through the current economic difficulties and the challenges that lie ahead.

The future is very different to that which we imagined 6 months ago. Yet travel and tourism remain cornerstones of the Australian economy. It is important that governments and regulators understand that getting the policy and regulatory settings right will not only help the sector but contribute substantially to the nation’s overall economic well being.”