Board Appointed For Queenstown Lake’s New Destination Management Organisation
Media Release from Destination Queenstown and Lake Wānaka Tourism
Queenstown, New Zealand (7 September 2023) The board of directors for Destination Southern Lakes, the new destination management organisation (DMO) for the Queenstown and Wānaka region, have been announced today.
The destination management organisation will oversee the implementation of the region’s destination management plan, ‘Travel to a Thriving Future,’ which was endorsed by Queenstown Lakes councillors in February 2023 and is a partnership between Destination Queenstown (DQ), Lake Wānaka Tourism (LWT) and the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC), with input from Kāi Tahu and the Department of Conservation.
This DMO will be the first of its kind in New Zealand, focused solely on delivery of destination management initiatives, and will umbrella the region’s two regional tourism organisations (DQ and LWT). The development of a DMO reflects the importance of consistent delivery of destination management initiatives across the region.
An extremely high calibre of candidates applied for the Board and after a thorough and robust recruitment process over the last three months, the following five successful candidates have been appointed to the Board: Murray Strong (Chair), AJ Millward, Dr Kate Meyer, Dean Fraser and Kristine Dunne. The Chairs of DQ and LWT, Richard Thomas and Calum MacLeod, complete the DMO board.
The DMO will ensure there is effective, accountable leadership that can guide stakeholders across sectors and communities to deliver the destination management plan and its projects. Establishing an independent governance group to oversee progress at a districtwide level will ensure a whole-system approach together with an appropriate balance of independence, accountability and expertise.
Destination Queenstown CE Mat Woods said he was excited to have such a strong Board appointed to oversee the delivery of the destination management plan.
“The Queenstown Lakes District has the ambitious goal for the region’s visitor economy to be regenerative and carbon zero by 2030. To meet that goal, we need to get underway with delivering the projects from the DMP. It’s great to have the governance in place for the DMO so now the RTOs, QLDC and other organisations can get going with delivering the projects,” says Mr Woods.
The RTOs will undertake destination management work where it makes sense within their current resource levels as well as continuing to work on shaping the right demand for the region, focusing on quality over quantity and high contributing visitors.
Travel to a Thriving Future sets out to ensure that tourism supports a thriving community – environmentally, socially, culturally and economically. The strategy is an output of the Grow Well | Whaiora Spatial Plan, a formal partnership between QLDC, Kāi Tahu and the Crown.