Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd will leave the regional tourism organisation in early 2020 to take up the position of chief executive of Great South, Southland’s regional development agency.
Destination Queenstown chairman Richard Thomas says Graham’s decision to move on comes at a time when DQ is in a strong position, and commended Graham on his leadership as chief executive for eight years.
"Graham’s contribution to Destination Queenstown over his 12-year tenure has been incredibly positive, during a time when Queenstown as a destination has gone through many changes.
"He has lead the organisation through significant milestones, including a total re-brand in 2015, the 30th anniversary of DQ, the evolution of the organisation and the increased focus on place-making and sustainability as core strategic priorities across the organisation will be a lasting legacy.
"He has also represented the Queenstown tourism industry and Queenstown Lakes District at a national level on the boards of Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Regional Tourism New Zealand, where he was also Chair for three years.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for Graham and a huge win for Great South. On behalf of the Destination Queenstown board, staff and members and the wider Queenstown Inc we thank you and wish you the very best for your Southern role. We look forward to working with you in that capacity."
Graham will finish at DQ at the end of January 2020, taking up the new role based in Invercargill, in early February.