Prominent Queenstown/Milford tourism player Southern Discoveries is promoting sales and marketing general manager, Kerry Walker, as its new CEO.
She’s replacing long-time tourism pro, Tim Hunter, who’s retiring after seven years at the helm.
Walker has 25 years’ tourism experience, the past four-and-a-half years in her current role.
In the previous 15 years she had a range of sales and marketing roles with Ngāi Tahu Tourism.
‘‘It is fantastic we have been able to make an internal appointment and give Kerry the opportunity to showcase her unique skills and experience that will continue to drive the company for ward,’’ says Skeggs Group director David Skeggs, whose company’s owned Southern Discoveries since 2009.
Walker, who also has operations management experience, says: ‘‘I’ve always worked within businesses that show off the very best of New Zealand’s scenery, adventure and hospitality, and align with my values of preservation and social sustainability.
‘‘Southern Discoveries fits that bill perfectly.’’
Meanwhile, Skeggs is hailing Hunter’s time at the helm.
‘‘Tim has done a superb job of running the business during his tenure, especially during some very challenging times during Covid.
‘‘He would be the first to say he couldn’t have done it without the support of all his team, and I’m sure he will be missed by all.’’
Hunter’s had extensive experience in NZ’s aviation, coach transport and destination marketing sectors, including working as a commercial pilot in the Southern Lakes, holding airline planning roles with Air New Zealand, and a host of senior management roles.
They include marketing general manager with the Mount Cook Group during the 1990s, as Tourism NZ’s Americas and Europe regional manager, and operations general manager, and Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism’s CEO.
Walker’s new role starts July 17.