House of Travel appoints new marketing director, looks to secure new creative agency partner in 2015

House of Travel has confirmed the appointment of Ken Freer, previously the acting chief executive of Tourism Fiji, as its new marketing director.

A spokesperson from House of Travel told StopPress that the marketing team was currently working on next year’s strategy, and that the organisation would likely look for a creative partner early in 2015.       

House of Travel currently doesn’t have contract with a creative agency, although the company has previously worked with Saatchi & Saatchi and Satellite. 

Jo Wedlock, the public relations manager at House of Travel, was asked several questions regarding the company’s recent creative partnerships and on who last served as the marketing director, but StopPress is yet to receive a response.  

Much of the company’s recent promotional work has been digitally driven, with digital manager Tim Paulsen telling StopPress in September that as much as 40 percent of its ad spend was being used on Facebook.

Paulsen added that only 32 percent of its spend was being used in the traditional channels of radio and outdoor with the rest all being used in other digital channels. 

It’s thought that House of Travel will be accepting pitches from potential creative partners in the new year and, given the emphasis placed on digital over the past year, it’s likely that the company will be looking for an agency with a strong digital strategy. This decision will however be left to Freer and his team.

The new marketing director has been working in the tourism industry since late 2010, when he joined Tourism New Zealand as the regional marketing communications manager for North America. After this he moved to London, where he served as the regional comms manager for the Western markets.

In 2013, he left Tourism New Zealand to join Tourism Fiji as its global marketing director before being moved into the acting chief executive role. 

Tourism Fiji has still not appointed a replacement for Freer, but a spokesperson says that the board has shortlisted two candidates and an official announcement will follow in the near future.    

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