Kochie elected South Australian Tourism Commission Chair

Ex-Sunrise host of more than 20 years appointed chair of home-state tourism bureau

TV personality, David Koch has been appointed the next Chair of the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) for a three year period, effective from 2 July 2024.

A passionate South Australian and media professional, Koch is a leading advocate for small business and a high-profile finance commentator. He is the Executive Chairman of Pinstripe Media and has been Chair of the Port Adelaide Football Club since 2012.

‘Kochie’ was a staple host of the Sunrise breakfast TV program on the Seven Network for over 20 years.

As Chair of the SATC, Koch will work with the SATC Board to set the strategic agenda for the Commission, which is an independent statutory authority administered under the South Australian Tourism Commission Act 1993.

David Koch

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Koch replaces Andrew Bullock, who has served as Chair of SATC since 2019.

South Australia’s visitor economy has experienced a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with latest data from Tourism Research Australia demonstrating a spend of $10.1 billion in the December 2023 quarter, up 20% from the December 2019 quarter of $8 billion.

South Australia has also recently experienced an unprecedented events season, which has included the Santos Tour Down Under, Fringe and Adelaide Festivals, WOMADelaide, Gather Round, LIV Golf, as well as Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel.

The festivities continue tomorrow night when the CommBank Matildas play at Adelaide Oval for the first time in history, as they take on China PR in an international friendly ahead of the Paris Olympics.

Later this year, Emirates will resume direct flights to Adelaide with the SATC also targeting further direct flights including from key Asian markets.

Glenelg jetty | Credit: Danny Lau/Unsplash

Premier Peter Malinauskas said Kochie is a well-known figure to all Australians and has always been tremendously passionate about his home State of South Australia.

“He has long-been a fierce advocate for small business which is the lifeblood of our tourism industry,” Premier Malinauskas said.

“Through major events like LIV Golf and Gather Round, the eyes of the nation and the world are upon us. We need to capitalise on these opportunities to sell what South Australia has to offer as a unique holiday destination for both interstate and overseas travellers.

“I’d like to thank Andrew Bullock for his dedicated leadership of the SATC over the past five years.”

Elder Park during AFL Gather Round 2024 | Credit: SATC

Zoe Bettison, Minister for Tourism, said “there is a great momentum around South Australia as we continue to tell the rest of the world our story as a state, and the economic trajectory we are on.”

“We are very fortunate to have someone of the calibre of David Koch to lead the work of our State’s Tourism Commission. David will give us some fresh perspectives that will enable our sector to keep growing as we outpace the nation,” Minister Bettison said.

On his appointment, Kochie said there are so many advantages in South Australia that make the state an ideal destination for holidaymakers.

“We do the best food and wine in the nation, and we have some of the nation’s most spectacular regions,” he said. “We also retain a reputation for delivering first-class major events and festivals.”

“More recently, the perceptions of Adelaide and South Australia have shifted significantly on the east coast – and we have an opportunity to capitalise on this momentum to grow our tourism sector even further.

“I have a passion for small business so a particular focus of mine will be trying to help those in tourism to grow their business through innovation,” Koch said.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to Chair the South Australian Tourism Commission and I look forward to working with the Board and the SATC team to market our great State, grow our tourism sector, and support the many businesses that rely upon its success.

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