Regional tourism board heralds new era for local industry
  • Thursday 20 May 2010

The future of tourism on the Sunshine Coast is in good hands, following the appointment of a new, highly regarded board to ensure the ongoing success and growth of the region’s largest economic contributor.

Council formally approved the make-up of the seven-member board at today’s Ordinary Meeting. It includes strong regional representation.

The board members were selected from more than 100 applicants, following an exhaustive recruitment program to identify the best-credentialed candidates for this critical role.

Mayor Bob Abbot said approval of the regional board marked the beginning of a new and exciting era for tourism on the Sunshine Coast.

“Council welcomes the appointment of the new tourism board members and I am certain the industry and the wider region will benefit from their expertise,” Cr Abbot said.

“We are very fortunate to have individuals of this calibre to help the local tourism industry enter the next phase in its development and continue to expand in an extremely competitive marketplace.”

Ms Julie-Anne Schafer has been appointed the Chair and fellow members are Barrie Adams, Grant Dearlove, Trevor Grigg, John Hall, Rodger Powell and Des Power.

Ms Schafer has been chair of RACQ, RACQ Insurance and the Australian Automobile Association and several hospitals. She is currently a National Transport Commissioner, and is on the board of Church Resources Ltd. Her fellow directors bring considerable experience in fields which include finance, marketing and tourism.

Ms Schafer said she believed there were considerable opportunities for further development of the local industry and the board’s first priorities were to prepare a 10-year Tourism Destination Management Plan and appoint a new Chief Executive Officer.

“The board looks forward to guiding the continuous transition from the previous industry structure to the new regional model and working with industry and the destination desks to maximise opportunities for the sector,” she said.

“The Board intends to hold its first meeting prior to 1 July and we look forward to meeting with industry and our key stakeholders as soon as possible.”

The new regional tourism body will have an improved strategic focus pursuing government partnerships, delivering training and initiating strategic marketing opportunities for the Sunshine Coast as a whole.

Council had given the Tourism Transition Advisory Board (TTAB) a July 2010 deadline for the formation and operation of the new body.

Cr Abbot thanked members of TTAB for their commitment to finalising the new structure and providing the platform for a more strategic approach that will undoubtedly deliver a greater share of the tourism pie for the Sunshine Coast.

Work on the new structure to support the local industry has been underway since March 2009 after Council and Coast tourism leaders agreed on a broad framework for reform.

Media enquiries:
Nicki Duckworth, Office of the Mayor & CEO – 0439 786 824
Diane Ainsworth, Tourism Industry – 041 2000 606