Rod Cuthbert has moved into a new role at as Executive Chairman at Viator, the company he founded in 1995. Cuthbert, 50, will focus on corporate strategy and growth, organically and through acquisitions. Europe is a major priority. Barrie Seidenberg, President of Viator since 2005, will also take on Cuthbert’s old role of CEO. Viator recently added a series of Web 2.0 features to its popular site, which has doubled sales in the past year.

Stop the presses – the world was turned upside down recently when Roamfree made an announcement which didn’t involve it buying an online company. In fact, the reverse occurred. APN News and Media has agreed to acquire up to 20% of Roamfree for A$20 million payable over five years. It will also take a seat on the Roamfree board. APN News & Media is the largest operator of regional newspapers, radio broadcasting and outdoor advertising in Australasia.

Normal transmission was restored in short order when Roamfree announced it had bought Travel Online for A$5 million.

Jamila Gordon has been appointed the new Chief Information Officer of Qantas. “Gordon has extensive experience in senior executive roles with IBM and has spent the past six years in Europe, where she managed some of the world’s largest strategic outsourcing initiatives in France and the Netherlands,” the company said. Current CIO John Willett leaves Qantas at the end of this month.

Meanwhile, Qantas and travel technology provider, Amadeus, have extended their existing agreements to 2017.  The new arrangement ensures Qantas will continue using the Amadeus Altéa customer management system while adopting Amadeus Ticket Changer and Amadeus Service Fee Manager. Amadeus will also set up a Competency Centre for Qantas at the Amadeus Product and Development hub in Nice to support e-commerce operations for the airline and complement an existing IT development centre in Sydney.

Travel Trends: October 3, 2007

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