A regional tourism industry chief executive officer with more than three decades of experience in management and marketing has been appointed to lead Tropical North Queensland through a strong growth phase.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chair Max Shepherd announced Pip Close, who is currently the CEO of the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, would take on the role of TTNQ CEO on July 3.
Previously CEO of the Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association, Ms Close managed the organisation's amalgamation with the Geographe Bay Tourism Association two years ago to become the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association with 800 members, 120 staff, four visitor centres and six tourism attractions to operate.
Her 30-year career in the tourism industry includes General Manager of Tourism Fraser Coast, senior marketing and general management roles in several key Australian hotels and resorts, and earlier roles with Captain Cook Cruises, and the Australian Tourism Commission and Northern Territory Tourism Commission in the United Kingdom.
Mr Shepherd said Ms Close had strong experience in the leisure, business and meetings markets and held board roles in both the meetings industry and regional development in Western Australia.
"Pip's broad experience in the tourism industry at a regional level and her ability to work with industry and government stakeholders will ensure a smooth transition into the CEO role at TTNQ and a continued strong direction for the region," he said.
"The growing investment in tourism infrastructure for Tropical North Queensland and the anticipation of direct flights from China present many opportunities for our destination.
"I am pleased we will have someone with proven experience to work with our industry to develop strategies to carry us forward to a prosperous future."
Ms Close said she had always admired the way the Tropical North Queensland tourism industry worked together to bring optimum results for the region.
"Given the challenges of global tourism, I'm really looking forward to working with a great team of people to take Tropical North Queensland to even greater heights," she said.
"Tropical North Queensland is such a strong brand that is both innovative and dynamic.
"The destination provides travellers with high quality, premium tourism product that the consumer wants – it's about immersing oneself in nature experiences which are exclusive and memorable.
"I am very excited to have the opportunity to live and work in this beautiful part of the world where I have holidayed on numerous occasions."