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Destination Marlborough General Manager Steps Down

NEWS RELEASE

11 January 2017

EMBARGOED UNTIL 11AM

Destination Marlborough General Manager Steps Down

The General Manager of Destination Marlborough, Tracy Johnston, has announced her resignation.

Tracy has been in the role of General Manager for almost eight years covering a period during which the region has experienced some of the most challenging conditions facing Marlborough’s visitor industry including earthquakes in Canterbury, more locally in Seddon and Kaikoura, and the uncertainty introduced by the protracted consideration of the shift of the interisland terminal to Clifford Bay.

Despite this environment, Destination Marlborough has driven a program of growth in visitor activity endorsed by local stakeholders, and with the full support of the New Zealand tourism and travel sector.

Visitors are now spending on average one million dollars a day in Marlborough.

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett says Destination Marlborough has played a pivotal role in helping the region to reap this economic reward from tourism. “Tracy has provided sterling leadership to the organisation which Council has charged with promoting Marlborough as a destination to the national and international visitor market. She has brought a highly professional approach to the role and Marlborough has had the benefit of her comprehensive knowledge of the industry and her extensive networks within the sector.”

“Most importantly, she has helped us to understand the challenges and the opportunities ahead for Marlborough’s tourism businesses.”

The Mayor said her organisational skills and dedication were evident in DM’s response to the Kaikoura earthquake where travel plans were efficiently rearranged for hundreds of tourists and a positive tourism marketing message for Marlborough was swiftly and widely circulated immediately after the event.

“Tracy has been exceptional. Her wide experience and respect within the visitor industry has been very evident in the support she has been able to attract in developing our local visitor strategies” says Nigel Gould, the Destination Marlborough Chair. “Her energy and wide network of contacts have been invaluable in getting Marlborough positioned as a key part of the New Zealand visitor program.”

Tracy was a major driver in developing the Visitor Economy Growth Plan, Only Marlborough story and the launch of the “Marlborough - Brilliant Every Day” visitor positioning underpinned by the regional brand.

The Picton and Blenheim i-SITES are award winning strong performers within the national network and held in high regard by tourism businesses as a sales channel. This success has led to the more recent opening of a third Marlborough i-SITE in Havelock.

As General Manager, Tracy has developed a skilled team around her who will miss her leadership. There will be a transition period pending a new appointment – no final date for her departure has been set.

Destination Marlborough is a not-for-profit Trust established by Marlborough District Council to market Marlborough as a visitor destination. The organisation also operates the Picton, Blenheim and Havelock i-SITE Visitor Information Centres and Business Events Marlborough on behalf of the region.


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