MUCH-loved Warwick tourism identity Tracy Vellacott has announced her shock resignation as the Interim General Manager of Destination Southern Downs.
The former CEO of Warwick Tourism and Events said her new role did not align with her professional goals.
"In the past I have enjoyed a key role in shaping the development and daily operation of tourism and event services in Warwick and surrounds, with relationships also developed across the wider Southern Downs, South-East Queensland and Queensland community," she said.
"I have taken great pride in my work and been rewarded with an exceptional staff who share my enthusiasm and vision, a supportive board who understand the challenges of this environment and champions the cause and a community that has reaped both the financial and social benefits of a healthy tourism and events sector."
"My professional goals sit with seeing real benefits on the ground in my community, feeling the vibe of incredible festivals and events, seeing 'no vacancy' signs at every turn, and very much building lasting relationships with tourism operators and event organisers."
Mrs Vellacott said that the reason she has loved her job so much was largely about the immense satisfaction gained from community collaboration and working on events like the Rose & Rodeo Festival and Jumpers & Jazz in July.
"To partner so successfully with Karina Devine and the Art Gallery team who provide creative genius and the inspiration underpinning this awesome festival, and higher level specialist organisations like Southern Queensland Country Tourism and Tourism Events Queensland has been a dream."
"It is brilliant to see events in this region being recognised and elevated on the State events calendar under programs like 'It's Live' so that we specifically target the vast connector market that is within drive distance of this region.
I have no greater satisfaction than seeing two years of work with a national car club come to fruition so that a group of 150 plus people enjoy the hospitality of this region for a week, drop a significant amount of dollars into the regional economy, but more importantly leave here with a lasting favourable impression with intent to return and experience more of what we have to offer."
Mrs Vellacott offered gratitude to those who have helped her in her role over nearly five years.
"There is a core group of operators, business owners and event organisers that you know you can always count on, along with a dedicated team of volunteers," she said.
"My volunteers have brought me so many laughs and such pride over the last five years and tourism organisations across the country are indebted to the professional, knowledgeable and happy service they provide to visitors. It is invaluable."
In acknowledging staff she said, "Anyone who knows me knows that I am grateful for every day spent in the company of smart, talented and skilled professionals like Rob Hamilton, Amy Walker, Mikey Dwan, Izelle Barnard and Catherine Dunn, and former staff members Shona Gibson and Julie Peterson. Destination Southern Downs is fortunate to have this team, along with Karan Orr, Frankie Moore, Sharon Foelz and Jane Miller in the Stanthorpe Visitor Centre."
From here, she will take a "much-needed" break and spend time with her husband Phillip and three sons.
"Who knows, maybe I'll find my tamborine and go on the road with the boys' band," she joked.
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