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Tamara Sheward

TropicNow writer

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TTNQ CEO steps down in surprise move to corporate sector


In a surprise announcement this afternoon, Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Alex de Waal has revealed he is leaving the organisation to take up a role with a national company.

Mr de Waal said he had been "unexpectedly" offered the new corporate role and would be wrapping up his tenure as the local tourism chief on May 31, a position he’s held since 2014.

In making the announcement, he said he was leaving TTNQ knowing that the organisation was making great strides towards its vision of being recognised by the global tourism industry as Australia’s leading destination management organisation.

He highlighted new international services, the attraction of international investment, a significant resurgence in the region’s visitor economy and the inception of the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef organisation as key milesones in TTNQ's growth.

“We have a highly motivated and competent team that has achieved significant success in the past three years,” he said.

“I am extremely proud of having been a catalyst for positive change in Tropical North Queensland and enormously appreciative of the hospitality the Cairns community has extended in my favour.

“It has been especially rewarding to see the development of the TTNQ team who have proved that given the right resources and encouragement everyone can deliver extraordinary outcomes.”

TTNQ Chairman Max Shepherd paid homage to Mr de Waal, calling him the “driving force” behind many of the region’s recent successes, adding that he had worked tirelessly for the members of TTNQ and the broader Tropical North Queensland tourism industry.

The TTNQ Board will immediately start a recruitment process seeking a new CEO.