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New board members for Tourism Industry Association

Media Release
New board members for Tourism Industry Association
22 August 2006

A new chairman, deputy chairman and three new directors have been elected to the board of the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA).

Norm Thompson, Air New Zealand’s Group General Manager – Short Haul Airlines, is the new chairman and Malcolm Johns, Chief Executive of InterCity Group, is deputy chairman. They represent the Air Transport and Surface Transport divisions respectively.

Mr Thompson replaces Geoff Burns, who has stood down as chairman after five years in the position but continues as a board member, representing the Tourism Services division.

The new directors are Jill Birch, who will represent the Activities and Shopping division, Chris Black, Hospitality division, and Karine Thomas, General Industry. Their appointments were announced at TIA’s annual general meeting today.

The new board boasts increased representation from the accommodation sector and capital investors.

Jill Birch is responsible for the Marketing, Loyalty, Sponsorship and Group Sales functions across SKYCITY’s New Zealand businesses.

Since joining SKYCITY in 1997, Jill has led the establishment and development of many brand and capital development initiatives, including the Sky Tower visitor experience, the Convention Centre and the new five-star Grand Hotel. She is a member of the Rugby World Cup 2011 Tourism Working Party.

Karine Thomas has 20 years experience in the hospitality industry, working with corporate hotel chains in the USA, UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

She now operates a marketing and PR business dedicated to small to medium tourism accommodation providers and tourism experiences, Navigate South and Navigate Publicity. Navigate South represents 20 New Zealand luxury lodges and upmarket bed and breakfasts.

Chris Black is Managing Director of The Mount Cook Hotel Collection, comprising the Godley Resort in Lake Tekapo, the Mackenzie County Inn in Twizel and the Countrytime Hotel and Heritage Gateway Hotel, both in Omarama. He has had a long career in hotel management in New Zealand and overseas.

Chris is also a Director of The Mackenzie District Council’s Tourism and Development Board.

Directors who have been re-elected to the board are:
• Geoff Gabites, Manager, Adventure South (Adventure Tourism division)
• Stuart Neels, Managing Director, Australian Travel Services (Pacific) Ltd, (Distribution division)
• Warren Harford, Managing Director, Agrodome (General Industry)
• Grant Lilly, Regional General Manager NZ & Pacific Islands, Qantas (General Industry)
• Elizabeth Boyer, Group HR Manager, Ngai Tahu Tourism Ltd (Human Resources and Education division)
• Ian Bougen, Chief Executive, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism (Regional division)

Key statistics about tourism:
- Tourism is the world's fastest growing industry
- New Zealand tourism arrivals have doubled in size since 1994 to 2.38 million
- Forecast annual growth is 4% on average for at least the next five years
- Tourism is New Zealand's single largest export sector and contributed $7.4 billion dollars to the economy in the year ended March 2004. That is 18.5% of exports
- Domestic tourism contributes $9.8 billion to the economy each year
- Tourism directly and indirectly employs 10 percent of the work force. That is one in 10 jobs in New Zealand.
- Tourism represents 9.4% of gross domestic product and generates nearly $500 million in GST returns from international visitors each year. Tourism is the only export sector whose international clients pay GST.

The Tourism Industry Association represents 2000 businesses and organisations within the tourism industry.

Members include airlines, airport companies, and regional tourism organisations, rental car, coach and taxi companies, inbound tour operators, accommodation providers, tourism attractions, researchers, training organisations and tourism services providers.

Tourism is New Zealand’s largest export earner – accounting for 18.5% of this country’s export earnings.

The Tourism Industry Association organises the New Zealand Tourism Industry Conference, TRENZ and the New Zealand Tourism Industry Awards.

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