Mudgee is headed for a tourism boom, officials say from Mudgee Region Tourism.
The group have just released their future plans, which will include condensing the Visitor Information Centre and Tourism Offices into the new state-of-the-art Mudgee Arts Precinct.
With the building set to open in August, the organisation is expanding its management team.
The strategy includes the recruitment of a Chief Operating Officer to oversee the growing visitor industry.
Current CEO Cara George will move to a strategic consultancy role where she will continue to support the long-term destination management and creative marketing strategy for the region.
"What a ride it has been. I could not be prouder of what the team, board, local industry and I have been able to achieve over the last seven years," Ms George said.
"I have said it over and over, with each award win and each milestone reached - it is the people in our region that set us apart - and the love visitors feel when they visit us that keep them coming back."
The group said the Mudgee region had become one of the most highly regarded visitor destinations in NSW thanks to a decade of award-winning marketing campaigns.
"From leading the team to Gold at the prestigious Australian Tourism Awards for Destination Marketing in 2016 to our most recent accolade of being named 2021 NSW Top Tourism Town Winner, I am beyond thrilled that I will continue to work with the region in a consulting capacity and drive success in the years to come," Ms George said.
Under Ms George's leadership, Mudgee has seen a nearly 50 per cent increase in visitor numbers, while tourism attracts just shy of $200 million in visitor dollars each year.
"It has been an incredible decade for our region. This is thanks to Cara George and her team's unstoppable approach behind the scenes to promote our authentic country lifestyle, propelling the region into a must-visit destination," Mudgee Region Tourism Board chair Jess Chreck said.
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"The organisation has always welcomed change to embrace growth. To prepare for the future, it is important we give our local businesses and those who visit us the best possible support - and to do that, we must expand our tourism operational management team and strategic collaboration."
Ms Chreck said the creation of a COO position would allow operations of the business to be run side-by-side with the marketing, that will still be led by Ms George in her consulting role.
"To all those I have been honoured to meet, work with and support over the last seven years - thank you! I look forward to opportunities to work with you as we continue to amplify the experiences on offer in our region and lead the regional tourism space," Ms George said.
Ms Chreck said she and the team were looking forward to their continuing links to Ms George and her guidance of the region toward further tourism success.
Opportunity for the right person to make a tree change
The Chief Operating Officer role - currently in the recruitment phase, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Mudgee Region Tourism. Key responsibilities will include providing visionary leadership, organisational strategy and development, business and financial functions - enabling economic development while maintaining the cultural integrity of the region.
This role will work closely with the Mudgee Region Tourism board, in collaboration with Cara George and support agencies. Cara will continue to consult in partnership with long-standing agencies including Klick X, Wisdom and Destination Marketing Store.
Ms George will continue in her role as CEO of Mudgee Region Tourism while recruitment for the Chief Operating Officer is in progress, her last day at the helm is August 19. The timing will coincide with the opening of the new Visitor Information Centre at the Mudgee Arts Precinct and unveiling Mudgee Region's new destination magazine.
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