Tourism Australia promotes Phillipa Harrison to managing director

Tourism Australia has promoted Phillipa Harrison to managing director, after serving as executive general manager of international for more than two years and acting as MD for several months.

Harrison becomes the national organisation’s first ever female leader, and commences in the new role immediately.

Harrison has been with Tourism Australia for almost three years

Chairperson Bob East said Harrison was a stand out in the interview process, and is confident she has what it takes to succeed in the role.

“Phillipa has made an enormous contribution in her three years at Tourism Australia. She has great support in the industry and I am confident that Tourism Australia is in the best of hands,” East said.

In her previous role, Harrison oversaw a network of international offices across 12 countries and managed airline relationships and distribution channels. Of her new role, she said that the opportunity is a career highlight, but also poses an exciting challenge given the state of the tourism market.

“I couldn’t be happier or prouder to be given the chance to head up the Tourism Australia team. This is a period of change, challenge and opportunity for our industry,” Harrison said.

“With competition for the global travel wallet and the demands of the international traveller ever increasing and both global and Australian tourism facing a number of significant headwinds, the need for a strong, cohesive and united industry has never been greater.

“My focus is very much on making sure that Tourism Australia continues to lead from the front, through creative and high impact marketing but also through the important distribution and partnership platforms we provide to industry.”

The Exhibition and Event Association (EEAA) welcomed the appointment, with chief executive Joyce DiMascio stating: “We are delighted to see that the selection panel saw fit to give this important opportunity to Phillipa. She has demonstrated her skills and expertise over previous years as part of the senior leadership team at Tourism Australia and it makes great sense to have promoted her into this role.

“We look forward to working with Phillipa and her team especially in promoting the growth opportunities for the business events sector globally. We already have a strong partnership with Tourism Australia and we are very confident that we can continue to build upon this relationship with Phillipa at the helm.”

Tourism Australia’s MD John O’Sullivan stepped down in May. Around the same time, the marketing body replaced CMO Lisa Ronson – who had moved on to Coles – with Susan Coghill.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.