New chair for Tourism Australia

Hotel industry leader Michael Issenberg has been named as the new chair of Tourism Australia, following the departure of Bob East late last month.

Issenberg has worked for Accor for more than 25 years, most recently as the chairman and CEO of AccorHotels Asia Pacific, based in Singapore. Prior to that, he spent five years at Mirvac Hotels, including three years as CEO.

Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said Tourism Australia would play an important role in supporting the local tourism sector as restrictions are lifted and international tourism resumes.

“Australia’s tourism industry is looking forward to the fast-approaching day when we welcome back international visitors,” he said.

“Mr Issenberg’s leadership will be crucial to promote Australia’s world-leading tourist attractions and entice even more visitors to holiday in our country

“He brings to the role a wealth of experience and great energy and commitment to support the industry and its 660,000 workers and businesses.

“I look forward to working with Michael and his team as Australia opens back up to the world.”

Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) chief executive Margy Osmond said Issenberg is a “fantastic appointment and will greatly strengthen our collective tourism industry and government efforts to get the industry back on its feet in what will be a long and challenging COVID-19 recovery”.

“Our industry has faced the fight of its life over the last 18 months, but as restrictions start to ease and as we start to welcome back international students, skilled workers and tourists, Michael’s appointment will greatly support what will be a major international inbound market rebuild,” she said.

“Michael is a lifetime member of Tourism & Transport Forum Australia, served on the TTF board for many years and is one of Australia’s tourism stalwarts with a wealth of knowledge and expertise.”

Additionally, Queensland’s Annabel Dolphin joins Tourism Australia’s board, Jeffrey Ellison will serve a second term as deputy chair, and John Hart has also been reappointed for a second term.