Chris Knol has 50 years of professional history in outdoor adventure tourism and recreation, in practitioner roles ranging from mountain and river guide, through to senior management and governance roles including as the Executive Director at the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre, Outdoor Recreation Manager for the New Zealand government’s sport and recreation agency, as well as National CEO for the YMCANZ.
Chris has led and been involved in the development and review of many of New Zealand’s policy strategies for central and regional government agencies in outdoor recreation and adventure tourism. These include the Hillary Commission (and its successor, Sport New Zealand), the Departments of Labour and Conservation, the Ministries of Youth Affairs, Education and Te Puni Kokiri, Civil Defense, Careers New Zealand, the New Zealand Army, Water Safety New Zealand, the NZ Mountain Safety Council, as well as a number of local body authorities. This work has ranged from writing professional standards of practice, policy development, legislative regulations, activity codes of practice, and the development and implementation of destination tourism training systems across multiple tourism activities.
Chris has worked in an advisory capacity in similar roles with the Sultanate of Oman, Kingdom of Bahrain, the UAE, Japan and for the Australian governments.
He has served on numerous Boards of Directors of tertiary education and training providers, adventure tourism, and outdoor recreation organisations. He has also authored many papers and manuals on outdoor and adventure safety.
His latest role has been to lead a panel of international experts in designing the NEOM adventure tourism regulations for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.