Attracting a high calibre of experienced industry executives is a win for the new Board of Great Walks of Australia, the collective marketing brand of premium guided walks across Australia.
Former Qantas CEO and Tourism Australia Chairman, Geoff Dixon, has joined as the new Chair of the Great Walks of Australia Board. He brings to the position a wealth of knowledge in aviation, tourism, markets and partnerships. “Growing and better coordinating our marketing activities will be the major task of the newly constituted Great Walks of Australia,” he says.
Mr Dixon said that as an investor and participant in guided walking, he believed the time was opportune to grow the sector in Australia. “We have first class walking experiences, with a large diversity of offerings across the mainland and Tasmania, and there has been an increase in interest from within Australia and from key international markets including North America, UK, Germany and New Zealand.”
Tourism Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer, Lisa Ronson, has been appointed as the Tourism Australia representative on the Board and her contribution will be invaluable to the growth and strategic direction of the group. Lisa has held senior marketing roles across a range of industries for Foster’s Brewing Group, VISA International, David Jones, Telstra and Westpac group. She previously held Board positions for the Australian Association of National Advertisers and Global Banking Alliance for Women.
“I look forward to working with the new Board to grow this emerging tourism sector, which offers a wealth of opportunity for Australia to showcase our best walking trails. The walks are representative of the depth and diversity of tourism experience Australia has to offer,” said Ms Ronson.
In the new Non-Executive Director Marketing Specialist role is Jess Gill, Partner at Growth Mantra, a boutique strategy consultancy in Sydney. Jess has a wealth of experience across a number of industries including travel and retail. She notes her passion for walking and said, “My desire to work with a Board whose enthusiasm about their brand and its potential to grow in both awareness and visitation levels is key to taking on this new role. Working with the Board members and shareholders to share my experience in customer engagement is a great opportunity.”
The walk shareholder and member positions of the Board are completed with the following appointments:
– Heath Garrett, General Manager, Tasmanian Walking Company
– James Pearce, General Manager, Eco Adventures Australia
– Ian Johnstone, General Manager, The Maria Island Walk (Tasmania)
Transitioning from the former shareholder-based Board to a skills-based Board has been part of the continuing development of Great Walks of Australia. The first meeting was held in late March at Tourism Australia in Sydney.
The Board, working with the Executive Officer, Gina Woodward, will grow the walk membership number through seeking out premium guided walk experiences across the country; they will look to new and continued funding and partnership opportunities; market the brand to existing and new international markets; and provide opportunities for the Great Walks members with introductions to new trade, consumer and media contacts.