The new Destination Gold Coast CEO has hit the ground running, excited to help out with some big ticket projects around the city.
Patricia O’Callaghan has spent the last month quietly experiencing the Gold Coast’s tourism offerings, ahead of her February 1 start date.
After coming down from her position as CEO of Townsville Enterprises, she says her favourite thing about the Gold Coast so far, is the people.
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“I love that people here reach for the skies, businesses here have not rested on their laurels, they’ve changed, they’ve evolved. And I think anything is possible here,” Ms O’Callaghan said.
The new leader has already met with key stakeholders of the tourism body; board members, airport representatives, and the Gold Coast Mayor.
Ms O’Callaghan says some of the projects that Council has on the table are very exciting, and she’s keen to see how Destination Gold Coast can help out.
“Sitting with the Mayor we know there are some proposals for cable cars, dive sites, the expansions of convention and entertainment centres.
“So I think my role will be to see where Destination Gold Coast is best placed to assist and importantly we want to see tangible outcomes and we want to ensure that the sod is turned because that’s when you know that you’ve genuinely succeeded,” Ms O’Callaghan said.
But, she doesn’t expect the job to be easy, having dealt with a number of crises in Townsville, she knows that we can’t take anything for granted, especially in a time of coronavirus.
“We have to be flexible and dynamic and I think we’ve seen the operators here do that – they’ve evolved their businesses, they’re much more flexible.
“But we can’t also waste a crisis, and I think that’s where an unwavering focus on attracting investment into new products and experiences will ensure that we’re not only supporting businesses now but we come out of Covid even stronger,” Ms O’Callaghan said.
Her arrival coincided with the reopening of Queensland’s borders to the Greater Sydney area, giving us access to millions more tourists.
Ms O’Callaghan says it’s a very happy coincidence, that’s sure to give the tourism industry a bit of a boost.
“So great that the day that I start – the borders are open.
“We are welcoming over 5 million people from New South Wales that we didn’t have access to, and the more we can welcome them here, the more they can stay and enjoy and importantly spend to support our businesses, I think this is going to be a great outcome for us,” she said.