Tourism Minister Kate Jones, South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell and Southern Queensland Country Tourism CEO Mary-Clare Power at a SQCT event held in Kingaroy in 2017

March 6, 2019

Southern Queensland Country Tourism CEO Mary-Clare Power will not seek reappointment when her contract finishes in June.

The Board of the Regional Tourism Organisation made the announcement on Wednesday,

SQCT Chair Dr Jane Summers said Ms Power advised the Board several weeks ago she would not seek reappointment as she wanted to pursue career opportunities outside Toowoomba and closer to family.

Dr Summers praised Ms Power, who has headed SQCT since it began seven years ago, for putting the region “firmly on the visitor radar” and driving an increase in regional tourism organisation membership.

“The Board is disappointed by Mary-Clare’s decision but grateful for her enormous contribution,” Dr Summer said.

“Under her stewardship, our region has enjoyed an 18 per cent boost in visitation from 1.7 million tourists to 2 million per year, far exceeding SQCT’s 2020 business plan of a 5 per cent year on year growth.

“We now have product sold in international markets such as New Zealand and Korea and the organisation is now represented at the Australian Tourism Exchange.

“Mary-Clare has also worked tirelessly at grass roots level with members to help them effectively market their product to SEQ drive markets.

“Experienced, committed and driven – we will greatly miss Mary-Clare’s energy and dedication and wish her every success with her future endeavours.”

Dr Summers said Ms Power had agreed it would be business-as-usual in coming months as the Board conducted a national recruitment search.

Ms Power said she had relished the challenge of working with local operators to strengthen Southern Queensland Country’s tourism industry and predicted ongoing success for the region.

“I came for two years and stayed for seven because the energy and optimism of its operators is infectious. I have genuinely enjoyed my time at SQCT and believe our RTO has made a real difference to tourism operators, but it’s now time for me to live and work closer to loved ones,” Ms Power said.

“The SQCT Board and our partners have my sincere thanks for their unfailing support, and my admiration for their energy and enthusiasm.

“The small but mighty SQCT team has worked so hard to deliver wonderful results for the region and I have no doubt that will continue.”

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