Business as usual for DQ's chief

New Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd. Photo supplied.
New Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd. Photo supplied.
Marketing and promoting Queenstown to New Zealand and the world will be "business as usual" based on the freshly minted business strategy, new Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd says.

"I'm delighted to be appointed and really grateful for the confidence that the board's shown in appointing me to the role," the former DQ marketing manager said after chairman Mark Quickfall announced his appointment on Monday.

"It's a real privilege to be leading a great team of people as well as leading this organisation for our members in Queenstown," Mr Budd said.

He will continue as a board member of the Regional Tourism Organisations of New Zealand and the Leading Mountain Resorts of the World partnership.

Mr Budd brings 25 years of marketing experience to the role, including five years with Destination Queenstown. He was instrumental in implementing its latest "Pure Inspiration" positioning.

Mr Quickfall said Mr Budd's "proven skills, depth of marketing experience and strong industry relationships" won him the support of board members after a "robust, thorough recruitment process".

Mr Budd told the Queenstown Times he spent his first day in the big chair on Monday reading and responding to many emails and answering telephone calls of congratulations.

"I'm very fortunate having been in DQ already for five years. I've got some terrific relationships, both locally and around the country and the industry. Universally, to date, everyone's been very pleased for me."

Mr Budd said his immediate responsibility was to make sure the DQ team knew it was supported in their work.

"We've literally just been through a robust business planning process for 2012 to 2013, so strategically we're already well covered in terms of what our activity is going to be over the next year or so.

"My priority is to ensure there is no pause in our activity and while I get my feet under the desk and spend a bit of time talking with the team, as well as our members and the industry, it's going to be business as usual against that business plan."

Mr Budd said he could not rule out the possibility of changes in the future, "but, at the moment, everything's in pretty good shape".

The DQ team put in a huge amount of work during the travel trade show Trenz, hosted by the Southern Lakes, with DQ as a partner, in the Queenstown Events Centre last week, he said.

"Although largely it's a [Tourism Industry Association] event, we were hosting it here in Queenstown, so we all felt a great responsibility and were proud it was here and we wanted to be great hosts.

"Universally, the feedback has been fantastic, so the DQ team did a terrific job as hosts."

The Queenstown Winter Festival, owned by DQ, is the next major event on Mr Budd's calendar, to start on June 22.

He and a few board members already sat on the festival management committee and worked with festival director Simon Green.

"The festival is in terrific hands under Simon's leadership, so, yes, I probably will have a little more involvement as CEO, perhaps fronting up to a few things I wouldn't have otherwise, but it's in very good shape and we're all looking forward to winter coming and being able to launch the festival."

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