Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley and Crowne Plaza Newcastle have moved to strengthen their sales team further, appointing Donna Forbes as Business Development Director. Commencing last week, Donna will be responsible for securing business primarily within the meetings, events, conference and incentives (MICE) market, leveraging her wealth of knowledge and experience.
With a career spanning 20 years in the tourism industry, Donna brings extensive and invaluable experience to the Region, and will be a key asset in attracting large, long-lead business to the Hunter. A proven expert in Business Events, Donna spent 10 years in business to business (B2B) development, sales solutions and account management roles, and has a substantial background working with Associations and Professional Conference Organisers (PCOs).
Her most recent role with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) saw her successfully drive impressive revenue results and forge close client connections to establish the NCC (National Convention Centre) as a top meeting destination in Canberra. Drawing from these successes, Donna will play a pivotal role in bolstering the profile of the Hunter Valley as a desirable destination to host large scale meetings, conferences and events.
The Hunter Valley traditionally operates at 34% occupancy mid-week, providing a clear opportunity for Donna and the team to continue to drive visitation to the Region. As an effective networker, Donna will lead the way in collaborating with destination partners and key players in the market to reinforce the position of the Hunter Valley as a leading regional business events destination.
Lisa Rangitutia, Director of Sales and Marketing, said “having Donna onboard will ensure the team can fully capitalise on the new Resort developments, high demand from MICE clients and positive market conditions.”
“We are all looking forward to welcoming Donna to the team and I’m confident that she will add significant value in her new role. Her experience over the last few years within IHG and her strong B2B background provides us with not only an expert in business events, but also a sense of continuity, hich
is important as she has well-developed internal relationships and knowledge of the Crowne Plaza brand”.
Commenting on her appointment, Donna said “I’m thrilled to be taking on a new role within the IHG portfolio and am looking forward to this exciting new challenge. 2016 is going to be a big year for both properties, especially with the new developments and initiatives in the pipeline to enhance the business events experience at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley.”
Donna will be based in Sydney, travelling to the Hunter Region regularly.