MEET OUR TEAM

Tyler Wood

Tyler Wood

CEO / Owner

With over 15 years experience in the travel industry Tyler’s passion for travel started with a 9 year round the world backpacking adventure in the early 90s. Tyler’s return to Australia found himself working in the family company ‘Bob Wood Travel Group’ a leading Inbound Tour Operator (ITO) dedicated to professional travel arrangements. Tyler along with his colleague Jay McKenzie then created Bob Wood Cruise Group, a company dedicated to the implementation and management of professional ground logistics for international and domestic cruise lines. Bob Wood Cruise Group also works with tourism bodies to implement quality industry standards that cruise lines have come to expect.

To further support the industry Tyler and Jay have established Guides Australia, created with the objective of bringing a nationwide industry standard to the tour guide business focused on the needs of the International travel market. The company aims to do this through collaboration with suppliers, State Tourism Organisations and the various training and education facilities within Australia.

Tyler has contracts throughout the Australasia region in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Global Tour Specialist represents his continued passion to deliver cutting edge itineraries to the guests they work with.

Jay McKenzie

Jay McKenzie

CEO / Owner

With over 22 years in the Tourism industry Jay was previously based in New Zealand where she was a Director / Owner of an award winning and highly successful Travel Company. Her extensive travels along with detailed product planning over this time has provided her with the opportunity to experience some of the most amazing destinations the world has to offer.

Her background and experience, coupled with a strong business background, work ethic and passion for the tourism industry gave rise to an opportunity to take her skill sets and move to Australia. Here she joined Tyler in creating one of the most successful ground operators in Australia, Bob Wood Cruise Group. Jay has managed logistics for hundreds of thousands of Shore Excursion guests.

All of this culminates in the common goal that every traveller desires – to create moments that will create a lifetime of memories.

Kiri Braid

Kiri Braid

General Manager

Kiri’s travel career began in the eighties on a double decker bus in the countryside of Europe cooking Chinese Food for passengers from Hong Kong. It wasn’t long before she found herself on the Gold Coast where she followed her passion for food owning an organic café / catering company for nine years .

Originally from New Zealand she now has an Australian husband and four children who also share her love for food and travel. Kiri often finds herself travelling internationally and rendezvousing with family members and reflecting on times when she herself enjoyed the open road and the experiences it provided.

Kiri has extensive experience in both outbound and inbound tourism, with a definite love for authentic travel experiences that overflow into her work life. Kiri builds genuine relationships with our clients ,guests and suppliers and loves the opportunity to share the Australian experience and develop unique itineraries.

Carmen Stevenson

Carmen Stevenson

General Manager

Carmen is a true Australian girl heralding from Northern New South Wales. Her love of travel began with a trip to Europe when she was nineteen.  From then on she caught the travel bug and knew a career in travel and tourism was the perfect way to enjoy the best of both worlds.

The early part of her career was spent working in retail travel agencies.  A slight change of direction saw her spend over a decade with one of Australia’s leading airlines.  Being part of the growth and development of the airline sector reinvigorated her love for travel which had begun many years previously.

When the chance to join Bob Wood Cruise Group’s sister company, Guides Australia arose Carmen took the opportunity with both hands and hasn’t looked back.  She has now moved over to Bob Wood Cruise Group into the role of General Manager of operations. With a vast understanding of travel and tourism, as well as a passion for people, Carmen takes great pride in ensuring that each and every international traveller to Australia leaves with an everlasting positive experience.

 

Aisling Bidgood

Aisling Bidgood

Senior Operations Manager

A passion for travel led Ash all around the world to sunny QLD. Ash is originally for Ireland has been working in the Tourism Industry both in Europe, USA and Australia for the past 15 years. Tour guiding in the Jameson Distillery gave Ash a taste for the hospitality Industry. Then Ash ventured further a field and worked as an Assistant Shore Excursion Manager with Carnival Cruise Lines for 2 years. During that time Ash was fortunate to meet amazing people visit some of the remote places in the world. Her favourite being Alaska.

After settling in Sydney and working on the beautiful Sydney Harbour for Captain Cook Cruises her
career led her back to ships before settling in QLD. Ash loves the diversity of her role at GTS and
being able to travel and enjoy the beauty of Australia.

Wendy Lo

Wendy Lo

(Mandarin Speaking) (Operations Manager)

Wendy is originally from Taiwan, and has been living in Australia for 19 years where she completed most of her education .After graduating university with a Bachelor of International Business Management, Wendy has previously been working at the Gold Coast Airport as a Chinese Liaison Officer providing assistance to Mandarin speaking guests. Wendy continues to build relationships with agents from China whilst doing work for the business development team.

Wendy loves to travel and enjoys a self-drive style tour whenever she visits a new city in Australia. Her first overseas trip from Australia was back in 2005, on a school trip visiting Japan and China. She enjoys planning her own holidays, always doing many hours research before she goes and this suits the philosophy of Global Tour Specialists where we do specialise handcrafted itineraries. Wendy recently joined Global Tour Specialists’ as a China specialist to continue her passion for travel and guest liaison.

Melanie Bray

Melanie Bray

Operations

Melanie is from Sydney, Australia and she first experienced group touring at the age of 11 when she crossed the ditch to New Zealand for a softball competition. In high school she studied tourism and when she was nineteen she set off on a working holiday to London where she spent two years away exploring some destinations in Europe. Upon her return to Australia Melanie commenced working for an inbound tour operator in the accounts department where she soon took on the opportunity to move into an Operations role. After enjoying the excitement of an Operations role, Melanie moved into another Operations role with a competitor to expand her skills and later moved into Product role where she worked on producing South Pacific & Asia region group tour packages.

Melanie has over 10 years’ experience working in the tourism industry and she likes helping the guides out when she can.
In September 2017 Melanie moved from Sydney to the Gold Coast to live close to her sister and her family. Melanie’s group touring experience includes Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Egypt, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and countries in Europe and Scandinavia.