HRS appoints new UK MD as Jon West goes Down Under

Hotel booking agency HRS has announced two appointments to its senior management team in the UK.

Andy Besent (pictured) joins the HRS London office as managing director (UK and Ireland). A former sales director at Travelodge he has also held senior sales roles at InterContinental Hotels Groups and Guoman & Thistle Hotels.

Besent joins HRS as the previous MD, Jon West, moves to The Lido Group to become chief commercial officer in Sydney, Australia. The move follows HRS’ announcement in May 2016 that it had invested in the Australian-based company The Lido Group through a strategic partnership.

Besent will be joined in London by Ian Blackie, the new sales director for the UK market. Prior to joining HRS, Blackie was corporate sales manager at Qatar Airways and has previously worked at Virgin Atlantic Airways, Etihad Airways, Swiss International Air Lines and American Airlines.

“HRS has a great track record in the industry and keeps innovating to bring new solutions to the travel management,” says Besent. “I am excited to be joining the company and looking forward to carrying on the great work that has been achieved to date, along with creating new opportunities to continue the growth path of HRS in the UK.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Andy and Ian to our team and look forward to using the breadth and depth of their expertise to reach a new level in sales excellence in our UK activities. Both are a great fit for their new roles and bring a fresh perspective that will help us to accelerate our strategy,” said Flavio Ghiringhelli, vice-president of corporate solutions of south west and eastern Europe at HRS.

“We’d also like to acknowledge and thank Jon West for his years of service, during which time he has played a significant part in the development of our London office. We are pleased that he will maintain an ongoing relationship with the group going forward and see great opportunity to grow and expand our service to our customers in Australia.”

The HRS Group of companies has over 1,600 employees in 26 offices worldwide and offers end-to-end hotel management solutions to more than 40,000 businesses. Clients include global players from Fortune 500 companies including China Mobile, Hitachi, Huawei, Alibaba and Panasonic.

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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