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Gold Coast Tourism announces new CEO to replace Martin Winter

200 candidates have been whittled down to one, for the role of Gold Coast Tourism (GCT) boss, with the corporation today confirming who will take over as CEO after Martin Winter departs.

Mr Winter resigned from the position he has held for ten years back in March, prompting a landslide of applications.

GCT Chairman Paul Donovan announced Annaliese Battista as the person who will take on the leadership role.

“Ms Battista comes from the City of Perth where she has led the Directorate responsible for the City’s Economic Development and Activation,” Mr Donovan explained in a statement on Friday.

“Ms Battista will build on the current strong position of GCT and the City of Gold Coast, through a fresh approach with innovative and creative plans,” he added.

“The enthusiasm and passion for the role, proven deliverables in her current role, executive leadership skills and an understanding of the drivers of our city, were key factors in the appointment.”

Annaliese Battista will take over as CEO of GCT in August. Image: Supplied

Ms Battista (pictured) admitted it was an easy decision to move across the country to the beautiful Gold Coast.

“I had no trouble in convincing my husband, who works in marketing internationally, to relocate to the Gold Coast,” she joked.

“I see the Gold Coast has the best Australia can offer for local, Australian and International visitors. Through the activation of the city we can optimise the contribution of visitors to the economic, social and cultural return on investment.

“This benefits the City’s businesses, residents, workers and other key stakeholders.”

Ms Battista will hit the ground running on 6 August 2018, with Mr Winter’s departure date to be determined through a structured transition plan.

Qantas Inflight Entertainment

Say goodbye to flight nerves, because you can now meditate in the sky!

If you’re a nervous flyer then we have some good news for you.

Qantas has just announced that they will be introducing inflight meditation to give customers “more ways to relax inflight”.

The airline’s first meditation video series has been specially designed to bring a sense of calm and help customers unwind in the air.

The 10-minute guided meditation is set to aerial footage of some of the most beautiful landscapes around Australia, with travellers able to choose from five different scenes including Australian deserts, bushlands, coasts, forests and locations at twilight as they listen to the meditation.

Qantas Inflight Entertainment

PHOTO: Supplied by Qantas

Qantas Chief Customer Officer Vanessa Hudson said the expanded inflight entertainment offering opened up more opportunities for customers to enjoy some “me time” during their flight.

“Customers tell us they value being able to take time for themselves inflight and watch a movie or read a book, and now we can help them find a little extra relaxation with guided meditation,” said Ms Hudson.

Qantas Inflight Entertainment

PHOTO: Supplied by Qantas

The meditation video series will be available from June on Qantas inflight entertainment.

Qantas Meditation Series in 360 – Sydney Harbour, New South Wales

Qantas Meditation Series in 360 – Mossman Gorge, Queensland

Qantas Meditation Series in 360 – Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Qantas Meditation Series – Coastal

Qantas Meditation Series – Country

Qantas Meditation Series – Forest

Qantas Meditation Series – Twilight

Gold Coast Surf Tourism

Queensland kicks off search for young tourism leaders to help showcase $25 billion industry

THE search is on for Queensland’s next generation of young tourism leaders.

Employers, the industry and the community are being urged to nominate inspirational young people under the age of 35 to become the state’s next tourism leaders.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones launched the search on Friday and said a job in the tourism industry was like “a ticket to travel the world”.

“For the first time we’re also looking for young people who own a business that’s directly linked to tourism or supports the industry,” she said.

“Our Young Tourism Leaders will showcase the diverse, stable and exciting career opportunities the tourism industry offers.

“These leaders will make presentations in schools, connect with vocational and tertiary students, participate in careers events and connect with the tourism industry to promote the skills and talents of young tourism professionals.

“Working in the tourism industry offers more than just a job but a sustainable career that can be a ticket to travel the world.”

Ms Jones said these leaders must be passionate about growing Queensland’s $25 billion tourism industry.

“Over the next two years we expect to create 20,000 new jobs in Queensland’s tourism industry so building the tourism workforce for the future has never been more important,” she said.

“There are a range of great opportunities in the tourism industry, covering hotel and event management as well as digital marketing, graphic design, hospitality, tourism visitor experiences and regional tourism.”

The Young Tourism Leaders program is a key part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Advancing Tourism 2016-20 strategy which aims to maximise the benefits from tourism and make Queensland the world’s leading tourism destination.

Since the program was launched in February 2017, 18 Young Tourism Leaders have connected with students across Queensland to share their personal and professional career journeys.

Nominations for the Young Tourism Leaders Program are now open.

For details about the program and how to make a nomination, click here.

Hot chips and nuts aplenty at Gold Coast Airport

PASSENGERS drank 15,000kg of coffee, chewed through 81,000 packets of gum and munched on 2.2 tonnes of macadamia nuts while waiting for their flight at Gold Coast Airport last year.

The city’s airport revealed the staggering statistics as it prepares for the arrival of thousands of Commonwealth Games athletes, officials and spectators in the weeks ahead.

Coffee, nuts, hot chips, chewing gum and ham and cheese croissants were among the most popular food items sold to travellers passing through the Gold Coast Airport last year.

Gold Coast Airport retailers sold 81,000 packets of chewing gum, 325,000 litres of bottled water and
used 15,000 kilograms of coffee beans to fuel the airport’s 6.5 million-plus passengers in 2017.

Travellers also purchased 2.2 tonnes of macadamia nuts and 95,000 kilograms of hot chips, while the
airport’s duty free store sold 360 bottles of spirits every day.

The ham and cheese croissant and the humble ham and cheese toastie were the most popular food
items sold.

Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said 2017 was a year of big numbers for the
airport and this year would be even bigger.

“We had a record number of passengers last year but it takes more than jet fuel to keep them moving,”
she said.

“Our retailers are coming off the back of our busiest month and day on record in January and are now
preparing themselves for the thousands of Commonwealth Games athletes, officials and spectators who
are a matter of weeks away from arriving here.

“I’m sure they’ll appreciate a ham and cheese croissant as much as the rest of us during those busy two

“But if the athletes are looking for something a little leaner, we have plenty of healthy options too.”

Gold Coast Airport set a record for the 2017 calendar year when 6,542,604 passengers arrived or departed the airport – 120,602 more than in 2016.

Qantas’ brilliant new safety video shows ‘Aussies being Aussies’

Qantas has released its latest inflight safety video featuring everyday Australians sharing the true Aussie spirit in beautiful destinations around the world.

Playing cricket on a rooftop in Tokyo, riding in the front seat of a taxi in New York, indulging in a “Tim Tam Slam” in Johannesburg and barracking for the Wallabies in the heart of All Blacks territory in Auckland are just some of the true-blue moments that feature in the clip.

Set to a modern take of I Still Call Australia Home, the video starts with a young woman saying farewell to her family at Melbourne Airport and ends with an off-duty Qantas pilot at Cottesloe Beach in Western Australia.

All throughout the clip, Aussies are providing safety instructions for passengers travelling on Qantas aircraft.


CEO Alison Webster said the airline’s safety video was a creative way to share the spirit of Australia with customers.

“The primary purpose of these videos is to communicate an important safety message, and we know from our previous efforts that beautiful locations with a touch of humour is a great way to get people’s attention each time they fly,” Ms Webster said.

“This video lets us show off some of the amazing places you can travel on our network, and acts as a quick induction on Australian culture for visitors overseas about to fly here on a Qantas aircraft.”

The new video will begin screening across Qantas domestic and international flights from April.