11 Feb, 2022 01:55 AM

CEO Abbot has resigned from the Queenstown tourism board. Photo / Destination Queenstown

Queenstown tourism boss Paul Abbot has stood down from his role as CEO, citing the continued uncertainty of travel between New Zealand and Australia.

Abbot will be leaving Destination Queenstown from the end of this month after seven months in the role.

He took up the role in July last year expecting his family to join him from Cairns towards the end of 2021.

However, following the suspension of quarantine-free travel and Covid 19 restrictions this did not happen.

“The DQ Board is very sad to see Paul go but can empathise with his extremely difficult position having his family stuck on the other side of the Tasman,” said Destination Queenstown Chair, Richard Thomas.

“We understand his decision to put his family first. That’s the right call for Paul and his family.”

The businessman and former PNG Air CEO was appointed to the role in Queenstown last year, after nine years working in tourism marketing. This included a stint as Air New Zealand’s international marketing manager.

Thomas thanked Paul for his contribution to the tourism board.

“On behalf of the Destination Queenstown Board, I would like to wish Paul all the very best for his future,” he said .

On Thursday Abbot told the The Otago Daily Times that the forecast for inbound travel would not be helped by the easing of border restrictions and move towards self-isolation.

While visitors would soon be allowed to return from July, the requirement for 10 days’ quarantine would make New Zealand a “difficult” choice, compared to other destinations.

“This is all business that we will not have the chance to compete on, I’m afraid.”

Paul Abbot resigned as CEO from Destination Queenstown, after seven months separated from his family in Australia. Photo / SuppliedPaul Abbot resigned as CEO from Destination Queenstown, after seven months separated from his family in Australia. Photo / Supplied

Destination Queenstown said it was in a “strong position” and would continue to promote and support Queenstown businesses.

“There is significant ongoing work to keep the Queenstown brand top of mind with both consumers and trade, with well-developed plans ready to go once there is some certainty around international visitors to the region,” read a statement by Destination Queenstown.


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