Big tourism job goes by wayside

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The job of a Queens­town tourism boss has been disestablished in a management restructure. 

Blair Deasy had been general manager since late 2011 of Totally Tourism, which runs several well-known sightseeing and aviation brands. 

Deasy’s role no longer exists and a new role has been created – Totally Tourism general manager aviation, operations and tourism. 

Grant Bisset, formerly operations manager of Totally Tourism subsidiary The Helicopter Line, has been given this new role. 

Jeff Staniland, chief executive of Skyline Enterprises which bought Totally Tourism two years ago, says: “We’ve combined it all into one role. We really needed aviation skills in there so that was the driver.” 

Bisset had been in charge of the company’s entire flight operations, Staniland says. 

These include Milford Sound Scenic Flights, Wanaka Flightseeing, Air Fiordland, Glacier Helicopters and The Helicopter Line. 

“You need to get your business structure right,” Staniland says. 

“Aviation is a different business.” 

Staniland says the restructure doesn’t stem from any business downturn: “I would say that the businesses are doing well.” 

Totally Tourism is creating a new role of customer service manager to oversee its non-aviation brands like Queenstown Combos and Challenge Rafting. 

Staniland says Deasy made a great contribution to the company and his departure is regretted. 

Deasy managed Queenstown’s Skyline gondola, restaurant and luge complex for six-and-a-half years before shifting to Totally Tourism after Skyline bought it from Jackie and Mark Quickfall. 

Deasy, who was unable to be contacted for comment, had 13 years’ experience in hotels before joining Skyline in 2005. 

Last winter Totally Tourism and locally-based tourism company Real Journeys, which co-own flightseeing company Milford Sound Flights, closed down its long-established Queenstown Airport engineering base. 

Six aircraft engineers were laid off.