TOURISM AUSTRALIA APPOINTS NEW HEAVYWEIGHTS

TOURISM AUSTRALIA APPOINTS NEW HEAVYWEIGHTS

MANTRA boss Bob East and tourism industry leader Andrea Staines have been appointed to the board of Tourism Australia.

The appointments, announced by Federal Minister for Trade and Investment Steven Ciobo, mark the first Gold Coasters to serve on the board since its inception.

Tourism Australia aims to support the Australian economy and the growth of the tourism industry by promoting Australia as both a leisure and business events destination.

"I am confident Bob East and Andrea Staines, with their substantial knowledge and experience in the tourism sector, will contribute to the success of Tourism Australia and ensure it continues to meet the challenges posed by an increasingly competitive environment," says Ciobo.

East (pictured) has more than 20 years' experience in the tourism industry, currently serving as the CEO of the Mantra Group.

He has helped shape Mantra Group into the second-largest, Australian-based hotel company, making it a leading accommodation provider within Australasia.

His experience also includes serving on the boards of Gold Coast Tourism, Tourism and Transport Forum, Tourism Accommodation Australia and Gold Coast Football Club. East is also Chairman of Tourism Events Queensland and Chair of the Tourism and Transport Forum's Accommodation Sector Panel.

Meanwhile, Staines is an accomplished non-executive director with experience on a range of listed, government, private and not-for-profit companies in the infrastructure, transport, logistics and retail service arenas.

Staines is a former CEO of Australian Airlines, a Qantas subsidiary flying between Asia and Australia, which she co-launched in 2002. This role saw Staines become Australia's first female CEO of a scheduled passenger airline.

In addition to the appointments, existing member of the board Andrew Fairley will take up the position of deputy chair for 12 months from 1 July 2016.

The new appointments are for three years, from 1 July 2016.

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