National convention bureau Tourism Australia has announced that its Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, is to leave the organisation to take up a new role as CEO and executive director of the ASX-listed company, Experience Co. He will leave the organisation in June.
Executive General Manager International, Phillipa Harrison will step up as interim MD until a permanent replacement is found.
O’Sullivan joined Tourism Australia in 2014 and said: “I’ve had five terrific years at Tourism Australia, leading an incredibly talented team who do such a wonderful job promoting Australia to the world. The opportunity to lead an ASX-listed company such as Experience Co. is an incredibly exciting prospect and keeps me in an industry I really did not want to leave.
“It’s with mixed emotions that I now move on, but I feel I’m leaving the organisation in a really good position. Australian tourism is performing well, with international arrivals and spending both at record levels. We’ve reshaped our marketing narrative. Our Tourism 2020 journey is nearly complete, with the AU$115 billion target set back in 2009 already achieved.”
Tourism Australia Chairman, Bob East added: “Tourism Australia and the Australian tourism industry have gone from strength to strength under John’s stewardship. From the beginning, John has set a clear direction for Tourism Australia – value over volume – and has systematically set about executing that strategy.
“Targeting high yielding travellers who stay longer, do more and spend more when they come Down Under has become a mantra for the tourism industry, helping deliver record spending and tangible results for thousands of Australian tourism businesses,” he said.
Tourism Australia has also promoted Susan Coghill into the role of Chief Marketing Officer, replacing Lisa Ronson who left the organisation in March.