Former Graftonian snares top tourism role
By BARBARA FAHEY
NORFOLK Island tourism has appointed top Australian marketer Steve McInnes to spearhead its operations as it forges a new era for the island's largest and most dynamic industry.
Born in Grafton and educated at South Grafton Infants, Primary and High schools, Mr McInnes is the eldest son of Dr Ian McInnes and his wife, Bobby, who lived and worked in South Grafton and at Grafton Base Hospital for many years.
A graduate of Sydney University of Technology with a degree in business marketing and a diploma in tourism management, Steve McInnes has also held a range of sales and marketing positions with Qantas, Viva Holidays and Westpac travel.
Mr McInnes, with his wife Anne and their nine-year-old twins, William and Alexandra, moved to the island as general manager on July 6 after almost four years as national sales manager for Kosciusko Thredbo.
There he helped lift annual business at the leading ski resort. Previously he headed the sales and marketing team at NSW's Countrylink rail service during a four-year tenure which established record sales growth.
His most recent appointment coincides with the introduction of new air services from Australia, renewed links with Qantas.
It follows the introduction of new adventure, eco and cultural tours on the island to encourage younger travellers as an adventure destination. Gourmet restaurants and cafes are appearing.
Small (just 8km by 5km) and close (about two hours flying time), Norfolk Island is an external territory of Australia with pristine beaches and lagoons, dramatic coastal scenery, a fascinating colonial history and tax-free shopping.
It has considerable business links with the Clarence, strongly established through trade fairs over several years.
Mr McInnes extended a special welcome to Graftonians, many of whom visit the island regularly.
"Norfolk Island is one of the smallest but most beautiful, fascinating and unique destinations on the map. Do come," he said.