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Industry takes charge

By Paige Miller

The tourism industry has spoken and the board of Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited (WMDL) has listened.

The plan to split the organisation’s tourism and economic development functions is now well under way.

Since WMDL members last met to tackle the topic on January 21, Danielle Krista has been appointed to look after the paperwork and legalities of the change.

Assisting her on the legal front is Andrew Telford, of Macrossan and Amiet Solicitors, who is donating his time, free of charge, to provide qualified opinion on the constitutional changes.

The organisation has now also formed a working group, consisting of members of the tourism and business events strategic advisory groups.

And for the first time since former CEO Danial Rochford left, there is someone officially at the helm. Judy Porter has been appointed acting CEO.

Ms Krista said a lot of time had been taken to talk about the purpose of the new Tourism Whitsundays and the best way to structure it.

She said the changeover was planned for April 1 and from this time forward the plan was to have a board only and no strategic advisory groups.

The board will consist of 14 directors, seven to be elected by members, five of these from specific industry sectors.

On the economic front, WMDL director Lyn Gregson said the board recognised the significant contribution and leadership Denise Kreymborg had provided in advocating for the region’s key priorities over the past three years.

“In her role as general manager operations and economic development, Denise will continue working with the caretaker CEO to transition the company into a new future for tourism and economic development,” she said.

WMDL members are asked to attend two upcoming meetings. The first, on Friday, March 4 will be about presenting the transitional business plan.

The second, on Friday, March 11, will be to vote.

Both meetings will be held at the Airlie Beach Hotel at 3.30pm.

Meanwhile it’s business as usual for WMDL economic and tourism teams.

General manager of tourism Rebecca Nicol said the tourism team had been busy with an Australian Geographic partnership campaign, an Explorer campaign in Germany, hosting “Engaging the China Market” workshops and at caravan and camping “supershows”.

Major wins have been cover and inside spreads with Australian Geographic Outdoor and Jetstar magazines.

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