From 2014 until joining OFNZ as a consultant in 2022, Chris was Chief Executive of New Zealand’s national tourism association, Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA). Previously he had worked for the government national tourism agency Tourism New Zealand and for the Minister of Tourism, after beginning his career as a broadcast journalist.
As CEO of TIA, Chris led the development of Tourism 2025 and Beyond, the industry’s guiding strategic framework for growing a sustainable tourism industry. Chris also led the development of the world-leading Tourism Sustainability Commitment (TSC) and the NZ Tourism Carbon Challenge.
The TSC consists of 12 commitments focussed on minimising harm and making a positive contribution to the environment, economy, community and visitors. The commitments are based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, evolved to reflect the characteristics of the NZ tourism industry.
The NZ Tourism Carbon Challenge is an initiative for all tourism businesses to actively measure, manage and support businesses to actively reduce carbon emissions by 2030 and to be net zero carbon by 2050.
Chris has extensive experience in regulatory development. In 2021, he chaired the Expert Reference Panel which advised the New Zealand government on a review of the Adventure Activity regulations. He has served on numerous panels and committees, advising the government on issues such as camping, visitor driving, data collection, border charges and concessions fees. He is currently Chair of the NZ Tourism Data Leadership Council.
As well as working with OFNZ in 2022 to deliver tourism-related projects for NEOM, Chris has previously advised the Timor Leste government and industry on tourism development and the Yukon tourism agency in Canada on sustainable tourism.