Explore has announced the recruitment of Joe Ponte, who will take up the role of managing director at the company on June 18th.
Ponte has had a long and successful career with Flight Centre Group spanning ten years over two stints.
Most recently he was responsible for overseeing the development of the Topdeck touring business globally, with a team of 150 staff across various functions including sales, marketing, product, operations and finance.
Before relocating to London, Ponte led the Topdeck brand in the Asia-Pacific region, where he helped drive double-digit volume growth, working with business-to-business partners to increase sales as well as improving direct distribution.
Prior to that, he served as general manager, sales and marketing for the Insider Journeys brand (formerly Travel IndoChina), where he brought a more customer and online content-focused approach to the operation.
Having graduated in business and marketing, he started on the phones at Flight Centre, and was promoted to become marketing manager for their main business in Australia.
Paul Carter, Hotelplan UK chief executive, commented: “I’m delighted to welcome Joe at such an exciting time for Explore.
“Joe brings a wealth of industry experience and a genuine enthusiasm for adventure travel, and I look forward to working with him and everyone at Explore to further enhance our customer proposition and increase demand for our amazing travel experiences, both in the UK through new agency partnerships and internationally.”
He added: “I would like to thank John Telfer for his solid leadership in steering the business over the past six months in his interim role as managing director.”
John Telfer will continue as deputy managing director after Ponte joins the business.