Thursday, July 25, 2024
HomeGeneral TourismBackpacker Youth Adventure Tourism Association appoint new Board roles

Backpacker Youth Adventure Tourism Association appoint new Board roles

The Chairperson of BYATA, Jenni Powell, chaired her last BYATA board meeting on Wednesday this week.

Jenni has been an active member of New Zealand’s youth travel peak body since 2018 when she was nominated onto the BYATA board and became vice-chair three months later.

Having showcased natural leadership abilities, and unrelenting determination in advocating for youth tourism, Jenni was appointed chair in 2019 and unanimously retained her position as chair during the 2020 AGM.

“It has been my absolute privilege to lead the BYATA board and be a part of this fabulous organisation over the last three years.

"Whilst chairing our February meeting we reflected on the changes and challenges our industry has faced over the last year and how resilient, passionate and positive our members are.” Jenni say.

Chris Sperring who held the vice-chair position, stepped up to the position of chairperson during the board meeting. Chris will be supported by Auckland Unlimited’s Henry Matthews as vice chair.

Chris is area manager of YHA, based in Wellington, and also leads BYATA’s Advocacy working group.

Having served more than 24 years with YHA here in New Zealand, in the UK and in Australia, Chris is well equipped to lead BYATA and its members forward during these challenging times.

He is under no illusions as to the responsibilities and requirements of the role to support our members who are feeling such financial hardships at this time.

"The lifetime value of customers in the Youth sector will play a critical role in the economic and social recovery of Aotearoa. It’s important this message is strongly articulated to the Minister and MBIE and done so in a way which will garner support for the long term sustainability of our membership."

Henry is head of international education at Auckland Unlimited and is an experienced business development professional. He has worked across a range of visitor industry roles, where he led the development of inbound leisure, events and education travel markets.

International youth travellers represent almost a quarter of all holiday arrivals and pre-COVID generated $1.5 billion in foreign exchange earnings, higher than any other age demographic.

Tourism New Zealand’s Australian research shows that the resilient youth traveller will also be pivotal to the recovery of tourism as 25-34 year olds are more likely than other age categories to travel within six months of the Trans-Tasman reopening.

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