Tourism Whitsundays appoints 2021/22 Board of Directors and highlights achievements for 2020/21

Tourism Whitsundays is thrilled to announce the 2021/22 Board of Directors and highlight the key achievements of 2020/21 in the Annual Report that was released today as part of the Annual General Meeting held at the Whitsunday Marine Club. 

Tourism Whitsundays has welcomed three new Board Members, Arpad Romandy – General Manager of InterContinental Hayman Island Resort, Kate Purdie – General Manager of Coral Sea Marina Resort and Greg McKinnon – Owner of BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort. Trevor Rees from Whitsunday Escape and Craig Turner have both been re-elected for another term.

These new and re-elected members will be joining already sitting members; Julie Telford, Judy Porter, Jenn Honnery and Mayor Andrew Willcox. 

Tourism Whitsundays outgoing interim Chair, Matt Boileau believes this is a very solid board to continue leading the tourism industry. 

“The Tourism Whitsundays board has some key industry leaders, all with exceptional skills and experiences to contribute. As an organisation, Tourism Whitsundays has a clear goal to rebuild The Whitsundays overnight visitor expenditure to better than pre-Tropical Cyclone Debbie and COVID-19 figures of over $850 million and total visitation to 1 million.”

“I want to thank outgoing Board Members; Glenn Bourke, Shaun Cawood, Brett Kapernick, Andrew Telford and Toni Ward for their contribution to the Board over the last 12 months, their invaluable knowledge has helped navigate our industry through challenging times,” Mr Boileau said.

The Whitsundays is the most tourism reliant region in Queensland with one in three jobs directly related to tourism. It is crucial for the sustainability of this community that we continue to invest and build tourism in The Whitsundays. 

Tourism Whitsundays Chief Executive Officer, Tash Wheeler said it was great to reflect on the positive outcomes and achievements of Tourism Whitsundays in the 2020/21 Annual Report while welcoming the new Board Members.

“The organisation continues to showcase The Whitsundays as the globally recognised Great Barrier Reef destination and in 2020/21, we delivered eight tactical campaigns that collectively generated over $21 million in direct revenue direct to operators, from a spend of $1.5 million.”

“The organisation achieved $68 million in publicity for the destination. Our social media channels continued to grow and we reached over 32 million people through leisure Facebook and Instagram”

Tash added, “The team are looking forward to drawing on the collective expertise of the new Board to achieve even greater outcomes in the 2021/22 financial year.” 

Outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Tash Wheeler delivered the highlights and achievements of the organisation for the 2020/21 financial year which included a lean operational budget to ensure greater investment into marketing and generating $6.40 with every dollar of funding provided by Whitsunday Regional Council. 

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox applauded the hard work of Tash Wheeler and her team to steer the tourism ship through some turbulent waters.

“The last 12 months have been challenging and I am proud that the Tourism Whitsundays board has shown strong leadership,” he said.

“Importantly this has been backed by the resilience, strength and versatility of our region’s tourism stakeholders and this is something we should recognise and celebrate.”

“Tough times don’t last forever, but tough North Queenslanders do and our tourism industry is a shining example of this.”

“The outstanding work of the Tourism Whitsundays organisation as a whole over the past year has positioned The Whitsundays, Heart of the Great Barrier Reef, as Australia’s premium domestic tourism destination,” Mayor Willcox said. 

Tourism Whitsundays would also like to thank outgoing interim Chair, Matt Boileau for his leadership, strategic advice, governance and dedication to the organisation. The destination has been fortunate to have Matt as a strong leader throughout this challenging time. 

The next Board Meeting will be held on Thursday 23 September, 2021 where the next Chair will be announced.

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