As the intended merger between Tourism Accommodation Australia and the Accommodation
Association continues to gather momentum, TAA (Vic) has added two senior hoteliers to its
advisory committee ranks.Following completion of an expression of interest campaign, David Tonkin, Cluster General
Manager, Melbourne – Pan Pacific Hotel Group and Sandra Smith, General Manager,
Holiday Inn Melbourne on Flinders will join the TAA (Vic) Council, effective immediately.
Tonkin and Smith are seasoned hoteliers each having spent almost 30 years in the hotel and
broader tourism sectors. David’s early career was linked to the Rydges brand, working across
Melbourne and the United Arab Emirates, before a brief stint with Wyndham Vacation Resorts, leading into his current, seven-year Pan Pacific Hotels tenure.

Sandra’s nine years at Kuoni Travel, a large Switzerland-based travel services company,
prompted her move to Australia in 2004. Employed by IHG Hotels & Resorts since 2009, she
initially held senior business development/sales roles, before transitioning to executive

TAA (Vic) Chair, Executive General Manager – Crown Hotels Melbourne, Shaun D’Cruz welcomed these appointments noting “David and Sandra are highly credentialled hoteliers, whose experience and perspectives will be welcomed as the Council continues to address industry opportunities and challenges.”

Tonkin is looking forward to contributing, noting, “As our industry continues its strong postpandemic recovery, initiatives to attract off-peak travel demand will remain a priority.”
Smith adding “Attracting and retaining staff to work, learn and flourish in our sector will remain critical to adequately resourcing our growing inventory of world class accommodation.”

One of their first duties as newly appointed councillors will be to attend the Victorian
Accommodation Awards for Excellence. This co-branded TAA (Vic) and AA event will celebrate
venue and individual service excellence at a gala dinner at Crown Palladium Melbourne on
Thursday 18 August 2022.