New tourism manager for Eastland Community Trust

COMING HOME: Activate Tairawhiti tourism general manager Adam Hughes returns to Gisborne after 20 years in the New Zealand and Australian tourism industries. Picture supplied

FOLLOWING its amalgamation into Eastland Community Trust earlier this year, Activate Tairawhiti has appointed its first general manager for tourism.

ECT chief executive Gavin Murphy confirmed former Waimata Valley pupil, Adam Hughes, would take up the role at the start of September, bringing 20 years of tourism industry experience in Rotorua and Australia.

Mr Hughes cut his tourism teeth at Hell’s Gate and Wai Ora Spa, rising to Operations Manager in an 11-year tenure.

He spent several years as i-SITE team manager at Destination Rotorua, before joining Tourism New Zealand as trade development consultant, then manager of their Australian trade operations. In that time, his work attracted several awards and accolades. Mr Hughes comes to Tairawhiti Gisborne fresh from RedBalloon, Australia’s pioneering experiential gift retailer.

His background is expected to stand Mr Hughes in great stead for his new role here.

“Not only is Adam a great strategist and leader, but he’s also a top-quality developer of product and knows what it takes to grow tourism businesses," Mr Murphy said.

"His experience in the digital realm is also incredibly valuable as we see the industry move further in this direction.

“He’s worked his way from the ground up, from Hell’s Gate to representing our national brand overseas. That kind of career path is exactly what we were looking for. Adam is someone who can drive the strategic direction of our tourism industry and engage authentically with our operators to develop and deliver the kinds of experiences our visitors seek.

“We’re thrilled with Mr Hughes' appointment and look forward to introducing him to the sector.”

Mr Hughes said moving here was a huge opportunity.

He was relishing the prospect to daily, weekly and yearly work to build growth in the region, growth that he believes will be underpinned by the natural resources, beauty, people and history of this region.

He said the region’s potential was by no means untapped and recognises plenty of people have been working hard for a long time.

“The more I talked to the Activate team the more I realised there had been some great work done," he said.

"I was also struck by the community’s passion and desire to be a more active and relevant player in the tourism space.

“If we’re going to get stuck in, we need the community behind us. I get a sense that’s the case, and that’s empowering.”

Mr Hughes will be officially welcomed to the Activate Tairawhiti team on Friday morning with a small whakatau. He officially takes up his position on Monday, September 4.

FOLLOWING its amalgamation into Eastland Community Trust earlier this year, Activate Tairawhiti has appointed its first general manager for tourism.

ECT chief executive Gavin Murphy confirmed former Waimata Valley pupil, Adam Hughes, would take up the role at the start of September, bringing 20 years of tourism industry experience in Rotorua and Australia.

Mr Hughes cut his tourism teeth at Hell’s Gate and Wai Ora Spa, rising to Operations Manager in an 11-year tenure.

He spent several years as i-SITE team manager at Destination Rotorua, before joining Tourism New Zealand as trade development consultant, then manager of their Australian trade operations. In that time, his work attracted several awards and accolades. Mr Hughes comes to Tairawhiti Gisborne fresh from RedBalloon, Australia’s pioneering experiential gift retailer.

His background is expected to stand Mr Hughes in great stead for his new role here.

“Not only is Adam a great strategist and leader, but he’s also a top-quality developer of product and knows what it takes to grow tourism businesses," Mr Murphy said.

"His experience in the digital realm is also incredibly valuable as we see the industry move further in this direction.

“He’s worked his way from the ground up, from Hell’s Gate to representing our national brand overseas. That kind of career path is exactly what we were looking for. Adam is someone who can drive the strategic direction of our tourism industry and engage authentically with our operators to develop and deliver the kinds of experiences our visitors seek.

“We’re thrilled with Mr Hughes' appointment and look forward to introducing him to the sector.”

Mr Hughes said moving here was a huge opportunity.

He was relishing the prospect to daily, weekly and yearly work to build growth in the region, growth that he believes will be underpinned by the natural resources, beauty, people and history of this region.

He said the region’s potential was by no means untapped and recognises plenty of people have been working hard for a long time.

“The more I talked to the Activate team the more I realised there had been some great work done," he said.

"I was also struck by the community’s passion and desire to be a more active and relevant player in the tourism space.

“If we’re going to get stuck in, we need the community behind us. I get a sense that’s the case, and that’s empowering.”

Mr Hughes will be officially welcomed to the Activate Tairawhiti team on Friday morning with a small whakatau. He officially takes up his position on Monday, September 4.

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