Tourism boss takes up Queensland offer

Augusta Margaret River Times
Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association chief executive officer Pip Close.
Camera IconMargaret River Busselton Tourism Association chief executive officer Pip Close.

Margaret River-Busselton Tourism Association chief executive Pip Close is leaving the job and moving to Queensland.

Ms Close said she had bought a house with every intention of staying long-term when an offer “too good to turn down” recently came from Tourism Tropical North Queensland.

The North Queensland region receives flights from multiple international and domestic airlines and attracts more than 2.8 million visitors each year.

“I was attracted with the growing investment in tourism infrastructure for tropical North Queensland and the anticipation of direct flights from China — these present many opportunities for the destination,” Ms Close said.

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“It is a strong innovative brand (reef and rainforest) being the fifth-largest international destination in Australia, and given the challenges of global tourism, the opportunity to work with stakeholders to attract international visitors was appealing.”

It is unclear who might replace Ms Close, and though deputy and former Geographe Bay Tourism Association chief Sharna Kearney was a name in the mix, she will not be applying for the role.

Ms Close remains with the MRBTA until late June and chairman Trent Bartlett will get the ball rolling on recruiting a successor.

In a media statement, Mr Bartlett said Ms Close “worked tirelessly” for MRBTA members and the broader business community.

Ms Close was also at the helm steering the MRBTA through its amalgamation process with the GBTA.

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