andBeyond has announced the appointment of Mark Wheeler as regional managing director – East Africa and South Asia from May 1, based in the company’s Nairobi office to help accelerate the growth of &Beyond’s business, presence and capabilities in these regions. Wheeler will be working with the teams in Kenya, Tanzania, India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka to fulfill the company’s growth objectives laid out in a three year strategic plan.
Wheeler brings with him 20 years of international tourism experience across two continents and nine countries starting his career as a wildlife and volcano guide in Ecuador and working his way up to senior management roles covering both tour operator and lodge/ship management. Following University in the UK and his work as a guide, he joined Abercrombie & Kent as a management trainee in Egypt, before taking on various projects for A&K Uganda, and Tanzania. He handled all operational aspects of many guests from VIPs to large groups. After three years in East Africa, he was promoted to general manager – Western Cape in South Africa between 1998-2000, when he was tasked to open a (then) new continent for A&K in terms of the South American Destination Management division. Wheeler oversaw the growth of the DMC business for a decade between 2000-2010, opening offices in Peru in 2000, Chile in 2001, Ecuador in 2004 and Argentina in 2005, as well as structuring and then serving as vice president of the Galapagos Joint Venture from 2006–2010, covering the operation of the 48 passenger ship, the Eclipse.
Wheeler returned to East Africa in March 2010 as managing director of A&K’s flagship operations in Kenya and Uganda, overseeing both A&K and Sanctuary Retreats brands in these countries, as well as the vehicle fleet and Sanctuary mobile camping divisions based out of A&K's Nairobi office. He left A&K in late 2012, and is now part of andBeyond.