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Tamara Sheward

TropicNow writer

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TTNQ appoints first-ever female CEO


For the first time in its history, Tourism Tropical North Queensland has appointed a female CEO to lead the organisation.

TTNQ this morning announced that Pip Close, currently CEO of the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, will be taking the reins from departing leader Alex de Waal.

A regional tourism industry chief executive officer with more than three decades of experience in management and marketing, Ms Close will step up to the role on July 3.

TTNQ Chair Max Shepherd said he was pleased to have Ms Close at the helm to lead the region through a strong growth phase.

"Pip's broad experience in the tourism industry at a regional level and her ability to work with industry and government stakeholders will ensure a smooth transition into the CEO role at TTNQ and a continued strong direction for the region," he said.

“The growing investment in tourism infrastructure for Tropical North Queensland and the anticipation of direct flights from China present many opportunities for our destination.”

Ms Close said she had always admired the way the Tropical North Queensland tourism industry worked together to bring optimum results for the region.

“Tropical North Queensland is such a strong brand that is both innovative and dynamic,” she said.

“Given the challenges of global tourism, I’m really looking forward to working with a great team of people to take Tropical North Queensland to even greater heights.”


A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE

Previously CEO of the Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association, Ms Close managed the organisation’s amalgamation with the Geographe Bay Tourism Association two years ago to become the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association with 800 members, 120 staff, four visitor centres and six tourism attractions to operate.

Her 30-year career in the tourism industry includes General Manager of Tourism Fraser Coast, senior marketing and general management roles in several key Australian hotels and resorts, and earlier roles with Captain Cook Cruises, and the Australian Tourism Commission and Northern Territory Tourism Commission in the United Kingdom.