New Tourism Chair to focus on international engagement and jobs

14 May 2015

Minister Leon Bignell
Minister for Tourism


The South Australian Tourism Commission Board will undergo changes to its leadership, with a renewed focus on international engagement to help create jobs across the state.

Tourism Minister Leon Bignell today announced the appointment of Sean Keenihan as Chair of the Board.

Mr Keenihan is the National Vice President of the Australia China Business Council, SA President of the Australia China Business Council and Chairman at Norman Waterhouse Lawyers.

“Mr Keenihan – who is also the State Government’s Strategic Adviser on China - brings a wealth of international engagement experience,” Mr Bignell said.

“As well as building on our existing markets, tapping into the Chinese visitor market is absolutely critical to the ongoing growth in our regions.”

In the 12 months to September last year, Chinese visitor numbers were up 13% to 31,000.

“We are well on track to reach our goal of 57,000 Chinese visitors by 2020. Importantly, they are the highest spending of all our international visitors.

“Through tourism, we can create massive opportunities for many businesses across a wide range of sectors throughout South Australia, from leisure and business events, the arts, food and wine, transport and education.

“The State Government’s goal for the visitor economy is to grow it from $5.2 billion a year to $8 billion by 2020. This increase would create a further 10,000 jobs throughout the state in the tourism sector."

Mr Keenihan said his focus would be on job creation across the state.

“We will achieve this with a focus on the international competitiveness of our product and collaboration across industry as we promote South Australia to the world,” he said.

Mr Bignell said former Chair, Jane Jeffreys, would remain on the SATC Board.

“I look forward to her continuing commitment and would like to thank Ms Jeffreys for her hard work and dedication since becoming Chair in 2011,” he said.

In addition to Mr Keenihan’s appointment, SA Motorsport Board Chair, Andy Ford, was appointed as a SATC Board Director effective from July 1.

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