Highly regarded CEO of the Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association, Simon Ambrose, has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer of Sunshine Coast Destination Limited, the membership-based body responsible for managing, developing and marketing tourism to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast region.
The appointment comes as the region focuses on broadening its tourism base to place greater emphasis on business events, experiential travel and inbound tourism, to complement its position as one of Australia’s leading domestic tourism destinations.
Announcing the appointment of Simon Ambrose, Sunshine Coast Destination Limited Chairman, Barrie Adams, said that Simon had played a key role in raising the domestic and international profile of Margaret River, and his ability to add cache to local businesses would help generate income and jobs for the Sunshine Coast.
“Margaret River has become one of Australia’s most successful tourism brand names, and we believe that with the Sunshine Coast offering a range of outstanding natural and developed attractions, he can really help maximise the tourism potential of our region,” said Mr Adams.
“Our team has made substantial progress in recent years, attracting international flights from New Zealand, developing the region’s profile as a premier conference and events destination, and establishing innovative tourism experiences, and we believe that Simon can build on this platform, and take the region into a new era.”
Simon Ambrose has a distinguished career in managing major regional attractions. Before being appointed CEO of the Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association in 2010, he was Director of the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre and, prior to that, he was Director of the premier McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park in Victoria.
“I am very excited by this opportunity,” said Simon Ambrose. “There may be 4700km and a continent between Margaret River and the Sunshine Coast, but the regions share a number of similarities – outstanding natural scenery, some of Australia’s finest beaches, a well-developed food, arts and cultural scene, a range of quality accommodation options, and a real tourism pedigree.
“The economies of both regions rely significantly on tourism to generate jobs and income for local businesses, and both organisations are very membership-driven, with tourism operators having a real say in how the destination’s tourism sector develops.
“I believe that with the Sunshine Coast’s direct air access and with its easy proximity to Brisbane and the east coast market, there is tremendous potential to expand the conference, incentives and events sector. It is tough in the current economic climate, but I believe that we can continue to build on the inherent qualities of the Sunshine Coast and deliver a product that is synonymous with quality and great value. The region has something for everybody – from premier boutique hotels and dining experiences to family friendly accommodation and attractions. I am really looking forward to the move.”
It is expected that Mr Ambrose will start his role in late August.