Former general manager of Tourism Central Otago Glenys Coughlan was awarded the prestigious Sir Jack Newman Outstanding Industry Leader award by Tourism Industry Aotearoa last week.
The award recognises her significant contribution to tourism in New Zealand over many years – the most recent of which was here in Central Otago as General Manager of Tourism Central Otago.
Glenys joined Central Otago District Council in the latter part of 2016 as general manager for tourism Central Otago.
Her initial task was to develop a new long-term tourism strategy for the region which was finalised in late 2018. The strategy recognises tourism’s importance to the future of Central Otago and focuses on developing a destination that both visitors and communities value.
A key pillar of the strategy is a ‘value over volume’ approach together with a set of key actions to realise the future direction of tourism in Central Otago.
Glenys led a ‘persona research’ project as part of the tourism strategy showing both her big picture thinking and her understanding that rather than locations – be it city or country – it is persona types that resonated with the region’s tourism offerings. This research has enabled targeted marketing and product development.
Glenys was also the driving force behind the establishment of the Central Otago Tourism Advisory Board – a skilled external group that brings new thinking and a broader range of expertise for the implementation of the strategy. The make-up of the advisory board is the envy of many tourism organisations across New Zealand and is a model now being considered by other regions.
Earlier this year Glenys resigned her role as general manager for health reasons.
"The clear vision Glenys has given Tourism Central Otago has enabled us to make progress on some game changing projects for the region and its communities," says Central Otago District Council chief executive Sanchia Jacobs.
"Working with Glenys has been a privilege and although we only got her for a small proportion of her distinguished career, she has had a massive impact on the future of tourism in the district. That legacy will live on in our communities for many years to come."