New CEO for South Australian Tourism Commission appointed

31 January 2013

Senior international executive with Tourism Australia Rodney Harrex has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the South Australian Tourism Commission.

Mr Harrex is currently based in London as the head of Tourism Australia’s UK and Northern European operations and will take up his new role on April 8th.

Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell described Mr Harrex’s appointment as an exciting new chapter for the SATC.

“Rodney Harrex has been working in tourism for more than 20 years and will bring to the role a thorough understanding of the industry, along with an in depth knowledge of some of our key international markets,” Mr Bignell said.

“During his time at Tourism Australia Mr Harrex has demonstrated the importance of
partnerships in destination marketing, and will be bringing a network of valuable global contacts to our organisation.”

Mr Harrex said he was very excited to be taking up the role as the new Chief Executive.

“For many years I have worked alongside South Australia’s teams in Europe and Australia, and I have a good understanding of the fantastic tourism experiences the state has to market - from the wonderful wildlife of Kangaroo Island to the vibrant city of Adelaide. South Australia’s food and wine is among the best in the world and there are lots of great stories to tell about the state’s outback and coastal areas,” Mr Harrex said.

“I’m joining the organisation at a time when South Australia is more accessible to international visitors than ever before, and look forward to working with colleagues at Air New Zealand, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Australia and Qantas to increase the numbers of visitors flying in to Adelaide from the rest of the world.”

Mr Harrex will be bringing his international and digital experience to an SATC team that is already building South Australia’s profile through its award winning marketing campaigns and events.

Mr Harrex joined the then Australian Tourism Commission working in event organisation, industry liaison and media relations and spent time based in New Zealand before joining their US team in New York and Los Angeles.

In 1999 he went to London as European business development manager for Tourism
Australia before returning to Sydney as the General Manager, International Operations. 
 
In 2006, Mr Harrex returned to London as the head of Tourism Australia’s UK and European operations.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy described Mr Harrex as a great collaborator and a great communicator.

 “Rod knows this is a partnership business and will bring his global experience and strong personal contacts to the SATC. He understands how the industry works and the quality of South Australia as a destination and will be able to put these two things together,” Mr McEvoy said.

Chair of the South Australian Tourism Commission Board Jane Jeffreys said Mr Harrex had been successful from a very strong field of candidates that included some of the country’s leading tourism professionals.

“The strength of that field and the fact that we have been able to secure Mr Harrex as the new Chief Executive is an indication of how highly the South Australian Tourism Commission is regarded by the industry.”

Jane Jeffreys will continue as interim Chief Executive until Mr Harrex takes up his position in April.

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