Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase steps down after eight years

Destination NSW CEO and executive producer of Vivid Sydney, Sandra Chipchase, has announced she is leaving the state’s top promotional role after eight years.

Chipchase will assist Destination NSW with the transition, continuing to work with the organisation as it commences the recruitment process for its next chief executive in coming weeks.

Chipchase leaves Destination NSW after eight years in the top role

“It has been a privilege to lead the state’s tourism and major events organisation,” Chipchase said.

“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.”

Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres thanked Chipchase on behalf of the NSW government.

“Sandra has expertly dealt with the significant, constant and often relentless challenges in running a multi-tiered, enormously complex organisation with thirteen 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,” Ayres 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.”

Ayres noted that Chipchase’s accomplishments have included securing numerous important media and sporting events.

“Sandra negotiated key 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 delivered much-needed positive reform in regional tourism, conceived hugely successful marketing campaigns for Sydney and NSW, gained the digital marketing leadership position for NSW, as well as led sector development strategies including the NSW China Strategy, Aboriginal Tourism Development Action Plan and the Regional NSW Conferencing Strategy,” the Minister said.

“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. Under her leadership we have broken every tourism record for visitor numbers, nights and expenditure every year of her tenure.”

Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres

The Minister concluded by noting Chipchase’s contribution to Vivid festival and the state’s positioning both domestically and globally.

“Sandra has also turbocharged the Vivid Sydney festival, taking on the role as executive producer to drive its growth to become not only the largest event in Australia but the largest event of its kind in the southern hemisphere collecting multiple awards along the way,” Ayres added.

“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.”


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