Gold Coast tourism boss Annaliese Battista has resigned after just two years in the top job.
Destination Gold Coast Chairman Paul Donovan confirmed the shock news in a statement to myGC on Tuesday afternoon.
“Destination Gold Coast advises that the Board has accepted the resignation of Ms Annaliese Battista, its Chief Executive Officer,” Mr Donovan said.
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It’s understood Ms Battista told board members of her decision on Tuesday morning, with her resignation taking place effective immediately.
Annaliese Battista commenced her role as Chief Executive Officer at Destination Gold Coast in August 2018, after being head-hunted from Perth.
At the time, she admitted that 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,” Ms Battista said in a statement in 2018.
“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.”
Chairman Paul Donovan has praised the work of the city’s much-respected tourism boss over the years and says he wishes her nothing but the best.
“Destination Gold Coast would like to acknowledge Annaliese’s outstanding contribution to the Gold Coast tourism sector and her service for the past two years,” Mr Donovan said.
“The Board wishes Ms Battista well in her future endeavours.”
He said the focus now remains on lifting the struggling Gold Coast tourism industry, which has copped a $6 billion hit as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
“Destination Gold Coast is firmly committed to our relentless pursuit to lead the Gold Coast tourism sector through the COVID-19 crisis and its recovery,” Mr Donovan said.
The city’s peak tourism body will now launch a national search to recruit a replacement for Ms Battista.