Tourism WA appoints new managing director

Tourism Western Australia has announced the appointment of Carolyn Turnbull as its new managing director.

Turnbull brings more than 20 years of international leadership experience in the tourism and hospitality industry to the role, and joined Tourism WA in 2020 as the agency’s executive director of industry, aviation and markets.

Tourism WA chair Di Bain said: “With extensive experience internationally in the tourism and hospitality industry, Carolyn will provide great leadership, particularly as we look to reignite our pre-COVID momentum and welcome the return of visitation.”

Turnbull will take the helm of Tourism WA from Derryn Belford, who has acted in the role since the departure of Brodie Carr late last year.

“In the 13 years Derryn has been with the department, she has made an outstanding contribution to Tourism WA and the tourism industry,” Bain said.

“Her dedication to the industry became all the more apparent when Derryn stepped up to oversee Tourism WA in late 2020, supporting the department during what has been a challenging time for the tourism industry.”

Belford said: “I have been fortunate to meet and work with some wonderful people at Tourism WA – I am incredibly grateful for this.

“I wish Carolyn all the best as managing director. While I know there is still so much to do to help the industry in its ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, I know Carolyn will tackle the task head-on with the help of an amazing and resourceful team.

Turnbull will commence her new role as Tourism WA’s managing director on Monday.

“I am delighted to be heading up Tourism WA as we continue to work with industry to elevate the state as a leading destination of choice when we are ready to welcome our domestic and international markets back to WA,” she said.

“I acknowledge the wonderful groundwork and the milestones that have been achieved through Derryn Belford’s leadership of the agency over the last 12 months.

“I recognise there are many challenges ahead, and I am proud to be entrusted to lead Tourism WA over this important phase of recovery, as we accelerate progress towards a new era for our tourism sector.

Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison welcomed Turnbull’s promotion.

“Carolyn’s appointment comes at a critical time for tourism as Australia prepares to reopen to the world and, at Tourism Australia, we look forward to working with her,” Harrison said.

“Carolyn brings a wealth of experience, a passion for our industry and the energy that will be key to leading and driving Tourism WA’s interests forward.”

Australian Hotels Association (AHA) WA chief executive Bradley Woods said Turnbull is held in high regard within WA’s hospitality, accommodation and tourism sector.

“The AHA warmly welcomes Carolyn to the role of managing director. We are confident Tourism WA is in safe hands under her leadership,” he said.

“We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Carolyn and we know that she has the necessary experience, vision and energy to lead the agency in the critical years ahead.

“Prior to the pandemic, WA was experiencing record levels of visitation  and we look forward to working closely with Carolyn to ensure we rebound from COVID-19 as quickly as possible.”

Business Events Perth CEO Gareth Martin said he looked forward to working alongside Turnbull through the continued recovery of the business events and tourism industry.

“Business events such as conferences play a major role in boosting business tourism, trade and investment in WA’s economy, as well as supporting local jobs and creating an avenue for knowledge exchange and collaboration, and we look forward to continuing our close partnership with Tourism WA to bring these lucrative events to Australia’s west coast,” he said.