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Indonesian travel group boss to head Wotif

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AAP

2012-12-05

The head of an Indonesian online hotels group has been named as the new chief executive of Australian online travel company Wotif.

Scott Blume takes over in January from Robbie Cooke, who led Wotif since October 2007 and presided over the Brisbane-based company's public listing in 2006.

While Mr Cooke recently expressed concern about Australians being reluctant to book overseas holidays online, Mr Blume was more upbeat about Wotif's internet travel sites.

"The Australian brands still have more legs," he told AAP from his home in Jakarta.

"They will grow.

"At growth rates of five to six years ago? Maybe not but there are upsides."

Mr Blume, who has been the chief executive of Indonesia's RKI Group since November 2011, said his experience in Asia would help him manage future Wotif acquisitions.

"If we look at the opportunities in Asia, I can bring deep insight to the way business is done in Asia," he said.

"I have got a fairly extensive network of relationships."

From 2003 to 2009, Mr Blume was the Singapore-based Asia Pacific president of US travel giant Travelocity.

He also served as the chief executive of its Asia offshoot Zuji.

Mr Blume then worked as a consultant for two years, specialising in e-commerce and tourism to India and Vietnam.

Mr Blume also spent four years as a non-executive director of the Singapore Tourism Board.

The qualified chartered accountant has also worked with Flight Centre and Traveland.

Wotif chairman Dick McIlwain said high calibre internal and external candidates were considered for the role of new chief executive.

Stephen Johnson