Search begins for new Destination Gold Coast CEO

The Gold Coast’s leading tourism body has begun its search for a new captain, following the abrupt departure of CEO Annaliese Battista.

After two years at the helm, Ms Battista announced her shock resignation last month, after an unprecedented year for the tourism industry on the Gold Coast.

Related article: Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista calls it quits


The nationwide search has now officially begun for her replacement, a process which is expected to take just two months.

An external contractor will manage the search, spearheaded by a five-member selection panel.

The successful applicant “will be to develop strategies and plans that deliver a strong return on investment that positively impacts the local economy, drives visitation and supports the social and cultural fabric of the Gold Coast,” according to Destination Gold Coast.

Chairman Paul Donovan says it’s a tough job.

“The change in management and executive leadership will be integral in providing support to Gold Coast’s 4,600 tourism businesses to rebuild our $6 billion tourism economy,” Mr Donovan said.

“More than ever, our ability to attract domestic visitors followed by international markets now and into the future will directly impact arrivals to the city and therefore tourism recovery.

“Our data suggests that in 2020, COVID-19 will cost Gold Coast’s tourism sector between $3.3 to $4.3 billion, with a potential loss of some six to nine million visitors.

“The gravity of this impact to Gold Coast’s visitor economy and chief economic driver cannot be understated.

“It is therefore imperative that DGC is well positioned to steer the sector, so it can get back on its feet as quickly as possible when interstate, New Zealand and international borders open.

“We encourage senior executives from across Australia who possess the necessary skills to apply for the CEO position in the nation’s tourism capital,” he said.