New boss appointed to Gold Coast tourism body

The Gold Coast’s peak tourism body has announced the appointment of a new CEO following an extensive nationwide search.

Patricia O’Callaghan will head up Destination Gold Coast as the city’s tourism sector looks to rebuild after being decimated by COVID-19.

Ms O’Callaghan is currently CEO of Townsville Enterprise.


She replaces Annaliese Battista who resigned suddenly in August.

Ms O’Callaghan admits the Gold Coast is facing a number of challenges but sees plenty of opportunities to help the city come out the other side of the pandemic.

“The Gold Coast is Australia’s leading tourism destination and we are uniquely placed to be the number one choice for local and Australian visitors, and it is important we maximise this strength. Welcoming as many Australians as possible to the Gold Coast now and into the immediate future is critical,” Ms O’Callaghan said..

“We will also ensure there is a sharp focus on the continued development of experiences and infrastructure investment to optimise the benefits for our city’s businesses, residents, workers and other key stakeholders.

“I will be proud to call the Gold Coast my home and look forward to working collaboratively with our members, the City of Gold Coast, Queensland and Federal Governments, and our many partners, to rebuild and grow our wonderful city.”

Ms O’Callaghan was chosen from more than 300 applicants.

Destination Gold Coast Chairman Paul Donovan says it was an extensive and extremely competitive selection process.

“Key factors in the appointment of Ms O’Callaghan were her vision for the city, proven deliverables in facilitating the concept to completion of major infrastructure projects, and strong leadership skills,” Mr Donovan said.

“Patricia has been the CEO of Townsville Enterprise over the past six years, where she has been instrumental in attracting major investment to the region and has done an outstanding job in achieving economic growth for her hometown.”

“We were able to attract senior executives from across Australia and overseas for the position. The high calibre applicants reflect the importance of the role and our reputation as a world class city.”

Ms O’Callaghan will commence her role in early February.