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New CEO announced for Destination Queenstown

New CEO announced for Destination Queenstown

Chairman Mark Quickfall announced Destination Queenstown’s current General Manager of Marketing Graham Budd has been appointed the new Chief Executive of the regional tourism organisation.

“The Board undertook a robust, thorough recruitment process to attract the best possible candidates for this key role and Graham’s proven skills, depth of marketing experience and strong industry relationships won him our support,” said Mr Quickfall.

“His firsthand knowledge and sound understanding of Queenstown means he has an invaluable insight into how the town and its people work.  The Destination Queenstown team is absolutely delighted for Graham and we’re confident that with his commitment to the role he will hit the ground running and be a strong leader in taking our high performing organisation and local industry to further success.”

Mr Budd will start his new role today (14 May).  As CEO, his responsibilities will entail driving the strategic direction and management of the organisation and ensuring all marketing strategies are in line with Destination Queenstown’s business plan.  He will also continue as a board member of the Regional Tourism Organisations of New Zealand (RTONZ) and the Leading Mountain Resorts of the World.

Mr Budd brings 25 years of marketing experience to the role, including five with Destination Queenstown.  He has driven the organisation’s brand since May 2007 and was instrumental in implementing its current ‘Pure Inspiration’ positioning.


He also has a strong corporate background in developing and executing targeted brand strategies and marketing plans and managing teams of varying sizes.

Originally from Wellington, Mr Budd has previously held marketing management positions for leading multinational companies including Unilever, Wrightson, Colgate Palmolive, Lexis Nexis and General Cable. 

Mr Budd is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities his new position will present.

“I’m thrilled to be appointed to the role and thank the Board for their confidence in selecting me. I’m very proud to have the opportunity to lead a great team who already do a fantastic job for our community in promoting and representing Queenstown around the world”.

Queenstown is among the world’s premier visitor destinations and it’s a privilege to be given this responsibility. I already enjoy very good relationships with the board, team, members, industry and government so I’ll be looking to build on those partnerships to further strengthen Queenstown’s position in the global market.”

Mr Budd replaces former CEO Tony Everitt who left at the end of April to join Tourism New Zealand’s Executive Team as General Manager Asian Markets.