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New Year, New Team For Tech Startup Grow Tourism

Grow Tourism is supercharging its partnerships, technology and advisor capability, welcoming two new team members and announcing a new Advisory Board in the first quarter of 2024.

Young Tourism Export Council Vice Chair Amanda Linklater joins the team as Partnerships Lead, drawing on her deep tourism experience with Go With Tourism, RealNZ, Active Adventures and Hotel St Moritz. Based in Queenstown, Amanda will lead business development with a focus on exploring where Grow Tourism can best add value within the industry.

“I’m a huge advocate of the visitor economy, and to be part of a team whose purpose is to enhance the skills and knowledge within the sector while unlocking ‘higher-value tourism’ is something I’m very passionate about. This role – and the Grow Tourism vision – couldn’t be a better fit.”

Bruce Hurd has also joined the team as Technology Lead. With a deep technical skillset and experience developing international SaaS and technology products, Bruce has worked with clients including McDonalds, Nasdaq, ASOS and HP and is managing Grow’s technical development.

The professional development platform – focused on powering the visitor economy of tomorrow – incorporates bite-sized learning courses and customised training dedicated to driving higher-value tourism outcomes for people, place and businesses. Shortly, the platform will also deliver business improvement opportunities surfaced from learner data, powered by AI.

Grow Tourism has also announced its new Advisory Board, which focuses on bringing private sector know-how to the business through a number of different lenses. Board members include Shayne Forrest (Hobbiton Movie Set), Eve Lawrence (Intrepid Travel), Rick Crannitch (Naumi Hotels), Tori Burns (Russell-Orongo Bay Top 10 Holiday Park), Zac Watson (Maverick Digital) and Lee Brown (Hospitality New Zealand).

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“Deep within our industry is a challenge – growing tourism & hospitality professionals within an organisation is critical. I remember vividly my ‘aha’ moment, which drew me in to my career, and I’m passionate about helping others find theirs,” says Rick Crannitch, Cluster General Manager Naumi Hotels Wellington and Advisory Board Member.

Developed by industry experts, Grow Tourism learners explore a myriad of real-world concepts including building commercial frameworks, delivering outstanding customer experiences and sustainability storytelling. Case studies like AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand and Sudima Hotels bring learning to life in the real world.

As the startup enters its second year in market, co-Founder Tash McGill is exiting the business as she focuses on her tourism tech and media businesses in 2024.

"I'm proud of everything Grow Tourism has achieved so far thanks to a remarkable team and I know that team, led by Alex (Dykman), is absolutely going to continue delivering great outcomes,” she says.

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