38. Mark Luckey – roomsXML

In this episode, Allen Suss speaks with roomsXML Asia Pacific’s Director, Mark Luckey. They talk about what roomsXML does for travellers, and also places Mark loves to travel to personally.

About Mark Luckey, roomsXML Asia Pacific Director

Mark Luckey began his career as a biochemist, including a year at Surrey University in 1994 which led him to becoming the first undergraduate published author at Swinburne University in Melbourne. He became business manager of a Swinburne research centre at age 22 where he pioneered multimedia communication of commercially viable scientific concepts. .

mark luckey roomsxmlHe taught himself IT skills and created Storyboard at age 25 in 1999. He created online projects including the design and management of the largest digital R&D platform in the grains industry in 2003 in partnership with Deloittes.

Following incessant cold calling from Prakash Bang throughout 2002, he outsourced his first project to India. In 2004 he made his first of 19 (and counting) business visits to India. On this first visit was a family home lunch with the Bang family, a favourite travel memory. This personal engagement underpins a successful and valued international business relationship spanning 14 years.

Mark Luckey has delivered in excess of 5,000 offshore man days for Australia clients via 15 vendors across Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore and Mumbai encompassing SAP, Microsoft , Joomla and iPhone and iPad technologies.

His love with travel began in 1980 when his grandparents took him to Fiji as captured in this YouTube video. 30 years later he took his two-year-old daughter whilst inspecting hotels for roomsXML.

In 2014 Mark’s mother bought a decrepit hotel in Siem Reap and Mark established legal, system setup, supplier integration, web development and marketing. At the end of 2016 he negotiated the sale of “Santa Clara” to a Sth African buyer based in Queensland, running parallel agreements between Cambodian and Australian legal and accounting. He probably won’t work with his mum again. He did learn end to end technology from hotel to agent.

As well as owning sole rights for roomsXML in Australia and New Zealand, Mark designed and managed the development of the roomsXML systems for customer service, reminders, accounts processing and BI and consulted to the Ukraine arm of roomsXML. He also creates most of the roomsXML videos.

Since 2008 he has supported numerous education charities in India which included “slum school” visits with his wife, daughter and father. He is currently a director of Project Karma, an anti child exploitation charity which in 2017 was responsible for changing federal immigration laws to confiscate passports from registered paedophiles and sex offenders.

In June 2017 Mark was awarded his 3rd Dan Black belt and title of Sensei. He has three bronze medals from national Karate championships whilst representing Victoria.

Mark Luckey is married to Sasha (roomsXML National BDM) and father to Jessica, age 9, turning 17

37. Craig Hunt – SkiMax Holidays

SkiMax operates ski holidays all around the world. SkiMax Holidays is based out of Sydney and sell ski holidays to both the northern and southern hemisphere. Places such as:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Europe
  • New Zealand
  • South America
  • Australia

Lots of people don’t realise that we have more skiable area in Australia than all of Europe combined!

It’s highly recommended you buy your ski passes through SkiMax as you will always get it cheaper through them… sometimes 50% cheaper.

Craig’s favourite ski spots are Whistler (BC, Canada) and Vail Mountain (Colorado, USA).

Cardrona, NZ is also a great ski destination. It is close to Queenstown which is a great place to visit. If you have families where some members like to ski and some don’t, there is plenty to see and do for those family members in Queenstown.

About Craig Hunt

craig hunt skimaxCraig Hunt has worked in the Travel Industry for over 30 years, starting when he was just 15 years old; guiding rafting and skiing trips, selling travel and encouraging people to travel and enjoy the World we live in.

Craig has now been running his own company for 20 years, marketing travel to the travel industry and letting people discover the world he loves.

Favourite destinations: Kenya, Skiing (anywhere), Nepal, India, and New Zealand.

36. Tony Kirkhope – Kirkhope Aviation

In this podcast episode, Allen Suss sits down with Tony Kirkhope, founder of Kirkhope Aviation, a Melbourne-based business specialising in outback tours and corporate charters.

About Tony Kirkhope and Kirkhope Aviation

tony kirkhope aviationTony was born in Melbourne 1950. He graduated as a Metallurgical Engineer in 1971, and was first employed in Wollongong for 4 years in Copper Smelting. He learnt to fly while there as a hobby.

In 1976, Tony moved to Victoria and worked commissioning the Hot Strip Rolling Mill at Lysaghts in Hastings. In 1979, Tony joined his brother and began a 25 year involvement with him owning Diana Ferrari Pty Ltd, a footwear manufacturing company.

Tony married my wife Sandy in 1983 and purchased a house in Camberwell. During these years Kirkhope Aviation developed as an outback air tour operator in Melbourne. Tony and Sandy also purchased a car wash business which Sandy ran for 14 years.

In 2001 they purchased a 500,000 acre property in the Top End of Australia and ran that as a “glamping“ tourist resort where they flew clients in from Melbourne. The Aviation business moved to Moorabbin where it is based today and continues to provide luxury air tours and corporate charter utilizing it’s three aircraft.

Tony’s hobbies, as well as flying, included competition water skiing, playing in a blue grass/country band and hobby farming at Gembrook.

35. Daniele Zanetti – APTMS

In this podcast episode, Allen Suss speaks with Daniele Zanetti of Asia Pacific Travel Marketing Services, more commonly known as APTMS.

APTMS is a travel representation organisation founded in 1985 and is focused on catering to the needs of the Australian and New Zealand traveller through wholesalers and retailers alike.

APTMS has been the sales representative in Australia for a number of clients including Alamo Rent A Car, Aston Hotels & Resorts, Howard Johnson Hotels & Lodges, Italhotels, Preferred Hotels Worldwide, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters , Scenic Airlines, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood and many other well-known brands.

About Daniele Zanetti

I’m a young, or at least I like to think so, professional with close to 10 years of experience in the Travel Industry.

I was born and grew up in Italy, the most beautiful and diverse country one could visit. Yes I said it. 😉

As beautiful as it is, although, I decided to migrate only a few days after graduating as a translator and interpreter at the University of Venice.

After almost 9yrs in Australia and a short experience in the travel industry in Italy, I started working as a tour guide in Sydney (!!) and grew within the company which I then managed for 2yrs.

I joined the amazing APTMS team in early 2015, a lot of learning – which has never stopped – and good successes have brought me to managing the sales team in Australia and New Zealand. We have grown constantly, representing more and more suppliers and extending our focus from USA and Hawaii to recently Europe and Southeast Asia.

The upcoming daily challenges within the industry are what keeps me motivated, but nonetheless I also enjoy the few perks the industry offers to us who work behind the scenes!

34. Daniel Toby – AAT Kings

daniel toby aat kingsDaniel Toby, the State Manager for AAT Kings in Victoria and Tasmania, and Allen Suss discuss what it’s like to travel with AAT Kings.

Daniel never ever really meant to get into the travel industry. In years 11 and 12 at high school, Daniel did some work experience with P&O Cruises. While working with P&O he got a taste of the travel industry and has been enchanted with it ever since.

Back in 2001, when Daniel entered the travel industry, there was a lot of uncertainty. Long-term airplane travel giant Ansett collapsed and Virgin Airlines came onto the scene.

AAT Kings is Australia’s largest and oldest tourist organisation; over 100 years old.

With the vehicles, they really have progressed over the years. The level of service and comfort the coaches offer are quite amazing.

There is also a large range of different travel vehicles, from high-end, luxury-style coaches, to 4wd coach vehicles. There are also vehicles to accommodate wheelchair-confined travellers.

Daniel’s personal favourite Australian travel experience in Australia is Kings Canyon and his favourite travel experience in New Zealand is Queenstown.




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