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New GALTA Board Members Welcomed

November 10, 2020 Appointments / Movers & Shakers No Comments

Ben Woodward of the CaPTA Group and tourism management specialist Sean Hodges-Colavitto, have been appointed as Board members of Australia’s lead LGBTQ+ travel association, Gay and Lesbian Tourism Australia (GALTA), following the association’s Annual General Meeting for 2020, held at Water’s Edge Resort in Airlie Beach.

The GALTA AGM was followed by a partnership industry networking event with Tourism Whitsundays and its members, including Ocean Rafting, Sundowner Cruises, Magnums Airlie Beach, at Hotel Group, Wings Sailing Charters and Whitsunday Escape.

GALTA, which promotes holiday experiences in Australia to LGBTQ+ travellers worldwide, is operated by a voluntary Board and team of state-based representatives and has a growing membership around Australia, with the incoming Board members joining incumbent Directors, Louise Terry (President), Rod Stringer (Finance), Dennis Basham (Social Media) and Ty Sutherland.

Ben Woodward, Director of Sales and Marketing for the CaPTA Group in Cairns, will step into the role of Vice President, bringing significant experience in tourism and LGBTQ+ pride events, with Ben having worked in his family’s business, the CaPTA Group, since he was young seening it grow to become one of Australia’s largest privately owned group of attractions and touring companies.

Ben has served as Chair on the Board of Tourism Port Douglas & Daintree, President for SKAL International Cairns , and is currently on the National Board of the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC).  He was also President of Cairns Tropical Pride Festival and is the driving force behind gAyTE, the popular LGBTQ+ hosted function during Tourism Australia’s annual Australian Tourism Exchange.

Sean Hodges-Colavitto is the founder of business management company, SHC Consultancy and will take on the role of GALTA Company Secretary. With over 15 years’ experience in tourism and leisure, from cafes and restaurants to large resorts and boutique hotels, Sean’s expertise spans marketing, sales, revenue management, customer service and systems integrations. With qualifications across tourism management and operations, Sean is also a Young Tourism Leader as part of the Queensland Government’s program to mentor and inspire young people to find careers in tourism.

GALTA President, Louise Terry, said the new additions to the Board would be a wonderful asset not only to the team, but also for GALTA’s national members and the LGBTQ+ tourism industry in Australia at a much-needed time, adding, “In a year that has seen devastating bushfires and an ongoing global pandemic severely impacting tourism in Australia, the Board of GALTA is keen to play a part in our national tourism recovery and the skills that both Ben and Sean bring will be central to this effort.”

“Over the past 6 months, our priorities were to support members through the challenges as best we could and also take steps to ensure GALTA could continue to operate through the uncertainty and emerge in a solid position.”

“We’ve also been activating projects to help keep Australia top-of-mind internationally, such as a video series produced in partnership with Pink Media in the US – Voices of Australia – LGBTQ+ Travel – to showcase iconic events, operators and locations while also sharing a warm ‘G’day’ from Australia.”

“Moving forward, the Board will be focussed on a review of GALTA’s strategic plans to ensure we are aligned, on behalf of our members, with the new circumstances and opportunities for tourism into 2021 and beyond.”

The GALTA Board members for 2020/2021 are:

President: Media & Partnerships – Louise Terry
Vice President: Ben Woodward
Company Secretary: Sean Hodges-Colavitto
Treasurer: National Representative Liaison – Rod Stringer
Director: Social Media – Dennis Basham
Director: Ty Sutherland

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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