Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) has appointed director and tourism industry identity Max Shepherd to the role of Board Chair from July 1.
TTNQ Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal said outgoing Chair Stephen Gregg had made an outstanding contribution to the region over many years through various roles including four years as chair and two years as a director.
“It is rewarding to see the investment Stephen has made in Tropical North Queensland will continue to be carried forward in good hands with Max,” he said.
Mr Shepherd, who worked in the tourism industry for more than 45 years before retiring as Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Managing Director in 2014, said his role would be to keep the TTNQ team, board and tourism industry working together to foster a strong and successful destination.
“Well directed marketing to ensure the region is an internationally recognised destination brand, growth in air access and strong participation by the tourism industry will be critical for future growth,” he said.
“We also need to capitalise on new market opportunities which will see Tropical North Queensland shows its strength as an individual one-stop destination.”
Mr Gregg said the time was right for TTNQ to have a local chair and with Mr Shepherd already on the board there would be an orderly transition.
“My main focus as chair of TTNQ was to work really hard to get a good strategic alignment with Tourism Australia and Tourism and Events Queensland,” he said.
“Strategically TTNQ is in a really strong place with excellent stakeholder relationships and the opportunities going forward for Tropical North Queensland are boundless.
“We have the mono destination approach which I’m sure Max, Alex and the team will continue to pursue and there will be new business emerging from SilkAir’s arrival in Cairns.
“I have been involved in Tropical North Queensland since 1979 when I was with AAT Coach Holidays, the forerunner to AAT Kings, and all the motels in town were on Sheridan St.
“It has been rewarding to be part of a progressive team that that has made a difference for this region.
“I am really proud that I was part of the group which seven years ago started to put together the events strategy for Tropical North Queensland.
“That strategy has made a big difference, especially during the downturn, as it was events which started to create the momentum and confidence in the industry and I am pleased I have been able to influence that strategy and see it come to fruition.”
Background on Max Shepherd
Max Shepherd is a Cairns local who has worked in the tourism industry for more than 45 years, starting with the Queensland Government Tourist Bureau in Cairns in 1967.
He remained with the organisation for almost 20 years as it evolved to become the Queensland Tourist and Travel Corporation. Mr Shepherd started with over the counter sales in the information centre in Cairns, progressing through to sales representative, travel centre management and product development roles in Melbourne, Mackay, Adelaide and Brisbane.
In 1987 Mr Shepherd returned to Cairns to work for Quicksilver Connections so he and his family could take advantage of the region’s lifestyle. He spent 17 years in marketing, operations and general manager roles with Quicksilver.
In 2004 he moved across to Skyrail Rainforest Cableway as General Manager and in 2011 was appointed Managing Director, retiring in 2014. Mr Shepherd has served on many boards and committees including Port Douglas Daintree Tourism, Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Tourism Queensland and the Australian Tourism Export Council.