Travel Industry People

[PEOPLE] Major appointments announced at Merit Travel Group, Transat & Tourism New Zealand

Dirk BaertsTORONTO — Merit Travel Group has announced that Dirk Baerts has been appointed President, MeritBiz, the corporate travel management (CTM) arm of Canadian-based Merit Travel Group, effective immediately.

Baerts will lead the CTM teams and continue to develop its offerings and services across North America. He will also be actively involved in the global expansion of the MeritBiz programs. Prior to joining MeritBiz, Baerts worked for Egencia, Expedia’s corporate travel company, as Managing Director Canada since 2011, following his appointment as Country Manager in Belgium in 2009. He also held various senior management positions at leading technology companies in Europe, Asia and Japan over a 15-year period.

Transat has also announced a new appointment: Susan Kooiman, who has been promoted to Senior Business Development Representative. Since joining Transat in 2002, Kooiman has proven herself as an advocate for the agencies in her assigned territory. In her new role, she will focus on developing business opportunities and provide support to select retail partners, including large call centres, home-based travel networks and specialty agencies. She can be reached at

In other Transat news, Heidi Lord will be assuming the territory of Eastern Ontario (Scarborough – Kingston), bringing with her 15 years of sales experience in the industry. She continues to report directly to Dan Prior, Sales Manager, and can be reached at

Transat is currently recruiting for the role of Business Development Representative, Toronto & Northern Ontario.

stephen-england-hallLastly, Tourism New Zealand has welcomed Stephen England-Hall as its new Chief Executive Officer. England-Hall will assume his new role in April following three years as Chief Executive Officer at Loyalty New Zealand. He also has previous work experience in the United Kingdom and North America as Chief Marketing Officer with Syncapse Corporation and Chief Executive Officer for Razorfish in London. Razorfish is Tourism New Zealand’s global media agency.

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