Tourism New Zealand's General Manager Marketing Communications, Justin Watson says this newly created position is tasked with increasing visitor arrivals to New Zealand from the lucrative global premium travel sector.
It follows the Government's 2013/14 Budget announcement of an additional $123 million in funding for Tourism New Zealand over four years, with $20 million over four years specifically tagged to growing the premium sector.
"Sam brings over 20 years of experience working in the luxury goods, travel, hospitality, banking and medical sectors.
"He is a Kiwi who has spent the majority of his career in the USA working for various companies including over 10 years as Marketing and Communications Director for Davidoff, the Swiss luxury brands company based in New York; and three years as the Marketing Director for the New York Health & Racquet Club.
"Sam's significant background, industry contacts and extensive experience make him ideally placed to help Tourism New Zealand attract more of this critical sector of travellers."
Sam and his family relocated back to New Zealand in 2010. He led Business Design and Development for Bank of New Zealand and most recently was Managing Director of Human New Zealand, a Sydney based brand agency working on the agency's Accor Hotels and Qantas accounts.
He commences with Tourism New Zealand on 9 September.
Tourism New Zealand has also appointed Stephen Marshall to the new role of Premium Sector Trade Manager - Americas. Stephen is currently General Manager of AOT New Zealand in Auckland and will relocate with his family to Los Angeles in late September.
Interviews are currently underway with candidates for two further positions within the Premium Travel team; Premium Sector Trade Manager - UK, based in London; and Premium Sector Trade Manager - Asia, based in Shanghai.
Read about other new appointments.