NewsApril 19, 2023

Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives Shifts up a Gear with Sales & Marketing Appointments

Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives has strengthened its Sales & Marketing division with a series of appointments to support the resort’s renewed focus on India, Europe/UK, USA, China and Middle East target markets.   

“Like many resorts worldwide, following Covid-19, we’ve taken a close look at our business, where it’s coming from and what geographical markets need more focus.  We are excited with the changes we have implemented to drive revenue and customer experience,” said Mark Eletr, General Manager of Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives. 


“Our team are all hands-on contributors in their field of expertise.  We work well collaboratively balancing individual opinions of some strong personalities with strategic decision-making.  Let me just say our revenue meetings are a lot of fun.” he added.  

With the impending departure of Inad Ibrahim who held the role for several years, taking the overall lead is the newly appointed, Mike Tan Yan as Director of Sales & Marketing based on the island who will start 1 May.  

In April, Dhawal Vyas, joined as Director of Sales – India.   Well known in his market, Dhawal is spending time in-market driving leisure business as well as spending time on the island.    

With a network of global operators, travel agents and DMC’s Simona Dobre, with 25+ years in senior-level Sales & Marketing roles most recently in the UAE, has joined as Director of Sales – Europe/USA.    Simona is an expert in the wholesale/leisure space and splits her time between Miami USA and Romania.  

Another veteran with 25+ years of experience is Sharon Garrett remotely leading Marketing from New Zealand.  With extensive experience in Asia Pacific and the Middle East with well-known brands, she is responsible for Marketing, Communications, Partnerships, PR and product development. 

Priyanka Sarkar has been recently appointed as the resort’s Marketing Communications Manager, with a heavy focus on influencer visits and new media.   Priyanka is the glue that brings the operation and marketing minds together.    This is her first role in the Maldives.

Experienced graphic designer Shaimaa Shebl from Egypt has recently celebrated her one-year anniversary with the team providing on-property creative development focusing on short video reels to support the property’s efforts in the social media landscape. 

Maldivian Fahud Ali is a key team member responsible for eCommerce and managing the onsite reservations team.    Though not a new appointment, Fahud has worked his way up with IHG for over 11+ years and rounds out the team.  He is central to achieving the resort’s goals with a keen focus on OTAs and direct bookings.

Keeping this group of passionate minds focused on commercial goals and revenue is Justine Thomas, Director of Revenue based in Bangkok who joined the team at the end of 2022.   Justine brings several years of experience in revenue with high-profile brands to the team.  

The property has also appointed additional Sales support team members on the island including Ying Wang a Chinese national who has been appointed Sales Executive with responsibility for the China market, and a soon-to-be-announced island-based Sales Manager to support the leisure sales directors.  Specialised agencies providing support in key target markets and niche disciplines have been appointed around the world. 

“The world we now live in enjoys greater acceptance of remote and flexible working.  That combined with the technology and tools to make it a success, meant we could look to people with the experience we need without them having to actually live on the island where we have limited accommodation.  I think it’s a win-win, but time will tell if the strategy gives us the bottom line we are seeking.”  added Mark. 

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As a four-star resort serving the mid-market in what is known as a luxury destination, we have exciting plans ahead and are delighted to have assembled a strong and experienced team to drive those plans forward from a Sales & Marketing perspective.  Had we tried to attain this level of experience through a normal hiring model our budgets simply wouldn’t stretch.  By utilising remote working we can manage payroll and payroll-related costs and attract great talent.  It is just reframing and looking at things through a different lens.” 

General Manager, Mark Eletr will be joined by new Director of Sales & Marketing, Mike Tan Yan on the Visit Maldives stand at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai 1 – 4 May 2023. (Stand No.  AS6110)