Tourism in Action: A word from Daniel Gschwind (April)

At the end of next week, I will step down from my role here at the QTIC. After more than 21 years with this organisation, it will be quite a change for me. The organisation, on the other hand, will continue to serve its members and the industry with the same dedication and commitment as it always has. We have an outstanding staff, with the skills and compassion to continue supporting our members, our other stakeholders and all parties who contribute to this extraordinary industry.

Our relationships are at the core of our business and QTIC will continue to value the partnerships we have built over many years. My very capable successor, Brett Fraser; our experienced General Manager Business Strategy and Deputy CEO, Brett Kapernick; all our staff and of course the QTIC Board, will maintain a strong focus on those relationships and guide QTIC into the future, in support of the industry. 

Our Chair, Shane O'Reilly, is only the third to chair this organisation, following the inaugural Chair, Gary Smith, and Stephen Gregg. I want to acknowledge the leadership and dedication of all three as well as all former and current Directors. Our board positions are unpaid and rely entirely on the goodwill and generosity of those individuals. As an industry, and as the Chief Executive, we owe them a great deal.

It has been an immense privilege for me to serve the industry and our membership in this role and I am enormously grateful for the countless opportunities I have been afforded to work with talented individuals from our industry, business operators - small and large, investors, entrepreneurs, and innovators. To observe the determination and 'never-say-die' attitude of our business operators during the crisis over the last two years has left an enduring impression on me. It is an inspiration. The loyal and growing support from our members is very much appreciated and never taken for granted.

A cohesive and collaborative Queensland industry allows us to engage more effectively with other stakeholders, including all levels of government. The industry has some way to go to be fully recognised for its full potential and importance. But I believe we have made some inroads into demonstrating that tourism does not only deliver economic prosperity but also supports environmental sustainability and community development. We are a powerful force for good. This can be demonstrated particularly on the Great Barrier Reef and in terms of the progress in Indigenous tourism engagement. 

I want to thank all of you, our members, industry professionals, politicians and public servants, researchers and scientists, artists and performers, media professionals, technicians, students and more for a "very unexpected" and very joyful journey. I also want to thank all our talented staff, current and former, for their dedication and loyalty to the organisation and to me - it has always been a team effort. 

To a very bright tourism future!