Kristin Dunne: Director of Destination Strategy

Tourism in New Zealand and around the world is undergoing a major reset due to COVID-19 and is committed to “building back better.” Today Miles Partnership in New Zealand announces a strategic hire to help support this historic paradigm shift. As of Wednesday (28 July), the former Chief Executive of Bay of Plenty Tourism, Kristin Dunne, joins Miles Partnership in New Zealand in the role of Director of Destination Strategy, bringing a wealth of internationally recognised expertise in destination management.

“Sustainability and destination management will underpin the role of New Zealand’s regional tourism offices and economic development agencies in the future,” says Chris Adams, Global Head of Research and Insights at Miles Partnership. “This is why we are so excited to have Kristin bringing her extensive knowledge in these areas to our team. It’s great to see this global shift in tourism — and the New Zealand Government has recognised the importance of it with a future-focused destination management approach through its Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan.”

As Chief Executive of Tourism Bay of Plenty, Dunne led the development and implementation of a world-leading destination strategy (Te Hā Tapoi — The Love of Tourism) that uniquely included a focus on regeneration, community engagement and indigenous partnerships. “Kristin will be a critical part of our South Pacific- and North America-based teams that will support destinations in these areas,” says C.A Clark, General Manager of Miles Partnership South Pacific.

And the excitement is mutual: “I am proud to be joining a global team of outstanding tourism experts with such a large and respected reputation around the world,” says Dunne. “Miles is the go-to agency for Brand USA and works with state tourism organisations from Hawaii to Florida and Alaska to Colorado.” When Dunne heard Miles Partnership was planning to move further into the destination management space both here and internationally, she realised they had a common goal. “Helping tourism organisations in New Zealand and around the world make the necessary transformations is a once-in-a-career challenge — and opportunity. Building back better means rethinking every part of tourism and balancing benefits for communities, the environment, visitors and local businesses.”

One of the first major projects Dunne will be focused on with the Miles team is the launch of a Professional Development Leadership Academy to help New Zealand tourism professionals be at the forefront of emerging global trends, grow their capabilities and share learnings and best practices for world-class placemaking and management. Dunne adds “we are seeing the tourism industry emerge as a critical leader in stewardship of places for future generations and finding a strong voice in community, sustainability and climate related issues. I am deeply passionate about helping regions and countries create purposeful tourism strategies that meet the needs of their local context.”

Miles Partnership is delighted at the wealth of knowledge Dunne is bringing to the organisation. “We know marketing is important, but managing destinations holistically is crucial and Kristin’s first-hand experience is really going to help,” says Clark. “We know from the many cities and regions in which we work with that it is possible for tourism to work in harmony with communities, be respectful to the physical environment and actually leave a place better for not only residents, but future visitors, too.”

Kristin Dunne officially starts her new role from 28 July.

Written by Skye van den Oever

July 28, 2021

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