Top tourism award for strategist


Former Tourism Central Otago manager Glenys Coughlan has been recognised for her significant contribution to the tourism sector with a prestigious national award.

Ms Coughlan last week received the Horwath HTL Sir Jack Newman outstanding industry leader award.

Ms Coughlan has been chief executive of the New Zealand Tourism Industry Association, chief executive of Positively Wellington Venues, a director of Te Papa and Tourism New Zealand, chairwoman of Positively Wellington Tourism and a member of the foundation board of Grow Wellington.

She moved from Wellington to Central Otago in 2016, when she was appointed general manager of the Central Otago Winegrowers Association.

She joined the Central Otago District Council in the latter part of 2016, as general manager for Tourism Central Otago.

Her initial task at Tourism Central Otago was to develop a new long-term tourism strategy for the region. This was finalised late last year and included a key “value over volume” approach and a “persona research” project that recognised it was “persona types” rather than locations that resonated most.

Council chief executive Sanchia Jacobs said Ms Coughlan was also the driving force behind the establishment of the Central Otago Tourism Advisory Board, a skilled external group that brought new thinking and a broader range of expertise for the implementation of the strategy.

“The make-up of the advisory board is the envy of many tourism organisations across New Zealand and is a model now being considered by other regions,” she said.

Ms Coughlan, who resigned earlier this year for health reasons, had a “massive impact” on Central Otago, Ms Jacobs said.

“The clear vision Glenys has given Tourism Central Otago has enabled us to make progress on some game-changing projects for the region and its communities.

“Working with Glenys has been a privilege and although we only got her for a small proportion of her distinguished career, she has had a massive impact on the future of tourism in the district.

“That legacy will live on in our communities for many years to come.”

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