21/01/2010 - 10:11

Laurance named Convention Bureau's chair

21/01/2010 - 10:11

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The Perth Convention Bureau has announced the appointment of tourism industry leader and former state parliamentarian, Ian Laurance as its new chairman.

The Perth Convention Bureau has announced the appointment of tourism industry leader and former state parliamentarian, Ian Laurance as its new chairman.

Ian Laurance AM, who recently stepped down as chairman of Australia's North West, is also chairman of publicly listed entities, property development company Axiom Properties and rare earth outfit, Arafura Resources.

Mr Laurance is an outspoken critic of the state government's lack of respect for the tourism industry considering it employs thousands of Western Australians and brings in millions of dollars to the state's economy.

He has previsouly told WA Business News the Premier needs to demonstrate his belief in tourism by building a new headquarters for the Tourism Council, establishing a second international airport in Broome, and redeveloping the Old Treasury buildings as a five-star hotel for the CBD.

"I've been to the premier about this and told him he should say 'we believe in tourism and there's the headquarters'," Mr Laurance said.

He has also had issues with the Premier failing to include any tourism projects in the list of priority infrastructure investment opportunities presented to the federal government as part of the Commonwealth's Infrastructure Australia stimulus program.

Mr Laurance will take over from Ian Gay, the regional general manager for Qantas in Western Australia, who has been acting chairman, following the Bureau's November AGM.

PCB managing director, Christine McLean was delighted that Mr Laurance had accepted the invitation to take on the chairmanship.

"As a former Minister for Tourism, Housing, Lands and Regional Development, together with his involvement with a variety of Government and private sector organisations, Mr Laurance brings a wealth of relevant experience to the Bureau," Ms McLean said in a statement.

"Someone of Ian's stature and standing both locally and nationally will help to profile the role of the Bureau and the significant contribution the business events sector makes to the Western Australian economy."

 

Full announcement below:

CONVENTION BUREAU APPOINTS IAN LAURANCE AS CHAIRMAN

HIGH profile tourism industry identity and former State parliamentarian Ian Laurance AM has been appointed Chairman of the Perth Convention Bureau.

Mr Laurance, who recently stepped down as Chairman of Australia's North West Tourism, accepted an invitation to join the Bureau's Board as a Consultative Director and take on the role of Chairman.

The Bureau is a non-profit membership-based organisation responsible for marketing Perth and Western Australia as a business events destination. In the six months to the end of December, the Bureau secured convention and incentive travel business worth more than $60 million in direct delegate expenditure.

Ian Gay, the Regional General Manager for Qantas in Western Australia, who has been Acting Chairman, following the Bureau's November Annual General Meeting, will serve as Vice Chairman.

The Bureau's Managing Director Christine McLean said the Board was delighted that Mr Laurance had accepted its invitation to take on the chairmanship.

"As a former Minister for Tourism, Housing, Lands and Regional Development, together with his involvement with a variety of Government and private sector organisations, Mr Laurance brings a wealth of relevant experience to the Bureau," Ms McLean said.

"Someone of Ian's stature and standing both locally and nationally will help to profile the role of the Bureau and the significant contribution the business events sector makes to the Western Australian economy."

Mr Laurance said he looked forward to taking an active role in the Bureau's affairs.

He said the Bureau had a reputation as a well managed and soundly structured organisation that was delivering excellent results for the State.

"It is particularly pleasing to be joining the Bureau at a time when the business events sector is seen by Governments as a key economic driver for their destinations, particularly in developing strong global trading, cultural and social links," Mr Laurance said.

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