Berry resigns from tourism board

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Annabel Berry has resigned as chairperson and director of the Tourism Waitaki board to focus on both a growing family and interior design and marketing business.

Mrs Berry has been involved in tourism since 2010, when she started as general manager for Tourism Waitaki. She has been chairperson of the tourism board for the past two years.

“I have certainly enjoyed my roles within tourism over the last five years and believe that our organisation is in a very strong position for growth with a passionate and hard-working team,” Mrs Berry said.

“The team has made significant achievements within tourism over the last five years and we have much to be proud of, in particular our district wide approach, penguin colony redevelopment, Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail, our consistently growing tourism numbers and the potential our district is really starting to realise.”

Tourism statistics support a solid increase in visitor numbers to the district over the past three years with a 22.7 per cent increase in total visitors for the year ending May 31, an increased length of stay from 1.51 to 1.53 nights, and an increase in occupancy rates from 16.1 per cent to 18.6 per cent. This growth comes equally from international and domestic visitors.

Mrs Berry is expecting her third child next week and is turning her focus to both family and business commitments with her business, Design Federation, and family business Whitestone Cheese.

Mayor Gary Kircher said he was sorry to see to see Mrs Berry leave.

“Annabel has brought another level of expertise to the board and has seen the organisation progress during her time as a director and chair,” Mr Kircher said.

“Understandably though, she has some sizeable commitments which need her focus for a reasonable period and I wish her the very best. She leaves the tourism board in great heart.”

Marcus Brown has been appointed acting chairperson of the tourism board.

The Waitaki District Council will be recruiting for a replacement director in coming weeks.