Sandra Chipchase has resigned from her role as Destination NSW CEO and Vivid Sydney executive producer, after eight years in the position.
Confirming the news, Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said Chipchase has “expertly dealt with” the significant challenges in running a multi-tiered organisation with 13 international offices.
“There is no denying she has the most outstanding track record of achievement of any tourism, business events or major events executive in the nation,” he said.
“Under Sandra’s exceptional leadership, innovation and negotiation skills, NSW became number one again.
“I am very sorry to see her go as our state has benefitted enormously from Sandra’s unique skill set.”
Chipchase breaks “every tourism record”
During her tenure, Chipchase negotiated major airline, travel trade and media partnerships including a three-hour live TV broadcast of NBC’s Today Show and devised an Australian tourism first with Sony Music.
She also delivered reform in regional tourism and led sector development strategies including the NSW China Strategy, Aboriginal Tourism Development Action Plan and the Regional NSW Conferencing Strategy.
“Sandra has secured many major sporting events such as the Opening Series of Major League Baseball, College Football, EPL team matches with global brands such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, HSBC Sydney Sevens, regional events such as L’Tape Tour De France and created winning strategies and bids for Australian premiere theatrical productions and musicals such as Matilda, Frozen and Hamilton,” said Ayres.
“Under her leadership we have broken every tourism record for visitor numbers, nights and expenditure every year of her tenure.”
Chipchase also “turbocharged” the Vivid Sydney festival as executive producer, driving it to become one of the largest events in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere.
“On behalf of the NSW Government I wish Sandra well in all her future endeavours and thank her for the exceptional contribution she has made to growing our state’s economy and shaping our nation’s profile,” said Ayres.
On her decision to step down, Chipchase said it has been a privilege to lead the organisation.
“I have achieved all the key goals I set for myself, the organisation and our state’s positioning and the time now feels right to pass the baton on,” she said.
A recruitment process is now underway to fill the role.