Former Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon has been appointed the new chairman of Tourism Australia in a move designed to restore “leadership” to the organisation.
Mr Dixon replaces outgoing chairman Richard Allert, who returns to his role as chairman of AXA Asia Pacific Holdings.
Making the appointments Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) managing director Christopher Brown said the decision will give Tourism Australia a renewed focus and a greater capacity to restore its industry leadership and performance.
“The appointments add further steel to the structure of Tourism Australia,” Mr Brown explained, “with a wealth and breadth of experience in the tourism industry”.
“Tourism Australia has a significant responsibility for growing inbound and domestic tourism and therefore supporting the jobs of half a million Australians,” he added.
Explaining the motivation behind the decision, Brown added that Tourism Australia had failed to meet its own high standards in the period since the 2000 Olympic Games.
The mediocrity of recent marketing campaigns and a lack of support from government and industry were also cited as challenges to be addressed by the incoming leadership.
In 2009 Tourism Australia was forced to revaluate strategy after the flop of campaign slogan Where the bloody hell are you?, before receiving further criticism for replacement There’s nothing like Australia.
This as Tourism Queensland scored a significant hit with the Best Job in the World campaign.
Board of Directors
In further changes at the top of Tourism Australia, Perth businesswoman Kate Lamont has been appointed to the position of deputy chair, while former Virgin Blue chief executive Brett Godfrey also joins the board along with Mark Stone, chief executive of Parks Victoria.
“With a new chief executive and now with a reinvigorated board of directors, we are hopeful that Tourism Australia can recapture its former glory and help rebuild domestic and inbound tourism growth, and play a bigger role in tourism investment and supply side issues,” concluded Mr Brown.