Corporate whizz appointed as new TPDD Chairman


A SENIOR business advisor who specialises in regional development and improving tourism destinations will help lead a post-COVID tourism recovery in Douglas Shire.

Kleinhardt Business Consultants Director, Cam Charlton, was appointed Chairman of Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD) following their Annual General Meeting at the Grand Sheraton Mirage in Port Douglas last night.
Mr Charlton has more than 30 years’ experience in consulting to the tourism industry and in destination development and promotion. He also has extensive experience in regional economic development. His work in this regard has been undertaken both throughout Australia and internationally.
Mr Charlton said he is committed to ensuring the destination presentation and promotion is positioned to best appeal to and meet, and indeed surpass, visitor expectations particularly given the dramatic shift in market segment accessibility to the region.

“The Port Douglas Daintree region is a real jewel in the crown of the tropical north Queensland experience. We need to keep it front of mind for both new and repeat visitors.”

incoming TPDD Chair, Cam Charlton
Incoming TPDD Chair, Cam Charlton

The AGM also saw Megan Bell and Christopher Northam elected as General Directors and outgoing Chair Ben Pratt re-elected as the Mossman Daintree Village Zone Director.

“Cam is a proven and professional operator. His expertise in tourism, particularly regional development, destination planning and sustainable business growth will be pivotal to navigate this organisation and our local industry through this challenging period.”

Outgoing TPDD Chair, Ben Pratt

The Board welcomes Cam’s extensive experience in performance enhancement and corporate governance including holding multiple significant Chairman and Director appointments.“The future looks bright and I wish Cam every success in this new appointment.”
Despite the challenging third and fourth quarter, the 2019/20 year started with visitation up on previous years and marketing activity in place to continue the momentum.
In December 2019 the Douglas Shire became the first region to achieve Ecotourism Australia ECO Destination Certification, a massive result of the collaboration of Douglas Shire Council, TPDD and the tourism industry, followed by the region receiving the global award for Culture and Communities at the Green Destinations annual awards recognising the achievements of Mossman
Gorge Centre.
The official launch of signage for the Great Barrier Reef Drive was the result of persistent lobbying and stakeholder support. This has firmly established the drive with tourism organisations demonstrating support through broad ranging promotion.
TPDD Chief Executive Officer Tara Bennett said visitation was tracking well until COVID-19 pandemic shut down the industry earlier this year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic crossed into Australia in March effectively shutting down the tourism industry by Easter… as visitation and marketing halted, TPDD’s role adapted to a position of industry support, advocacy and a conduit for the fast and furious flow of updates being released…in a post-COVID landscape, TPDD is poised to continue promoting our spectacular region to domestic travellers and in time select international markets.”

TPDD Chief Executive Officer, Tara Bennett

Other marketing highlights for the year

• Douglas receiving the highest global consumer sentiment ranking up 3 points from 2018 from Destination Think!
• 140k copies of Discover Paradise in June to stimulate travel as restrictions eased briefly
• 8 Australian Society of Travel Writers familiarisation streams
• Regional integrated summer campaign with TVC and digital member promotions
• Development of sustainability content showcasing local champions
• TPDD digital assets continued to grow with engagement up 30%

Current Directors

• Appointed Director Cam Charlton
• Mossman Daintree Village Zone Director, Ben Pratt, Mossman Gorge
• Daintree Cape Tribulation Zone Director, Abi Ralph, Daintree Discovery Centre
• Douglas Shire Council Director, Lisa Golding
• Tourism Tropical North Queensland Director, Sheena Walshaw, Trailblazers QLD
• General Director, Chris Northam, ACCOR
• General Director, Megan Bell, Quicksilver Group
• General Director, Ben Woodward, CaPTA Group

Retired Directors during the year

• Appointed Director, Jana Stankovich, Cairns Airport
• Port Douglas Zone Director, Natalie Johnson, Flames of the Forest

• Douglas Shire Council Director, Julia Leu
• Appointed Director, Adam Jones, Experience Co
• General Director, Liz Schibig-Edgar, Paradise Links Resort


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