Tourism

Women in Travel: Sandra Chipchase

In our exclusive series, we spoke to Destination NSW CEO about being headhunted, loyalty and going the extra mile.

Can you tell us a little about your career progression?

After obtaining a Business degree, I moved interstate to work in Regional Tourism then moved again to join Australia’s National Tourist Office working in Australia, Europe and the USA.

I went on to specialise in the incentive travel, trade events and conventions, came back to Sydney to work in the field, and after a few years was then headhunted to run the World Expo for Australia in Hanover, Germany.

This was particularly satisfying because I was able to further develop my major events experience and expertise and also have my first insight as to the broader demands of a Chief Executive role. I came back to beautiful Sydney and joined the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority as Executive Director overseeing commercial partnerships, major asset management, tourism and major events for The Rocks and Darling Harbour.

Then I was headhunted as CEO of the Melbourne Convention & Visitors Bureau, then headhunted again to come back and establish Destination NSW as the inaugural CEO; the position I have held for the last four years.

What would you say is your defining career achievement or the thing you are most proud of?

Hard to say and hopefully there are still more to come. I really have enjoyed every challenge but, if I’m pressed, then I think my career achievements are a blend of delivering record results, innovating wherever and whenever I can and creating winning teams and organisational cultures.

What have been the biggest challenges to success you’ve encountered professionally?

Dealing with nervous, negative, people who always focus on why it can’t be done or why you can’t achieve that goal and working overseas away from family and friends.

With the benefit of wisdom, what advice would you give your 21 year old self when you were starting out in your career?

Always volunteer for the hard jobs – no one expects you to succeed but wow think about the impression you’ll make trying and maybe even succeeding, keep going the extra mile – you get nothing for nothing, take that job overseas.

You’ll have those experiences for life, be true to yourself – you will always be respected for that and finally don’t be fearful – as someone said to me once; the Good do what they can, the Great do what needs to be done.

DSC_0466

How would you describe your business/management style? What sorts of things are most important to you professionally?

I try to lead by example – work hard, don’t settle for second best, be courageous and have a lot of laughs and fun with your colleagues along the way.  I value success, determination, innovation, trust and loyalty.

Who are the people you admire most professionally or in any field/walk of life?

Those who overcome great adversity, and people involved behind the scenes, doing the dangerous or the thankless tasks day after day, often poorly remunerated, to give other people a better life, really deserve everybody’s admiration.

What do you do to unwind when you aren’t working? What is most important to you outside the office?

I go to beach, the movies, the footy, go shopping, see a new show or exhibition, travel to a new place or festival, and read for pleasure. Outside the office, it’s loved ones, friends, trying something new and always having lots of things to look forward to.

For you what’s the best aspect about working in the travel industry?

The fantastic people, the wonderful experiences that you can have (especially in NSW) and the dynamic pace of the industry.

What one thing gets you through a stressful day?

Definitely strong coffee and when it gets really crazy, then sharing some well needed laughs.

You can see the other ladies from our exclusive Women in Travel series here:

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

One response to “Women in Travel: Sandra Chipchase”

  1. … i don’t understand why people are so negative about negativity… positivity comes from within and not from things around you… so even if you’re surrounded by negative forces, you’ll rise above them if you remain positive about the situation… always remember, you learn more from criticisms than praises… and besides in math equation, negative plus negative is positive…

Leave a Reply

Cruise

Uniworld sues MSC over $18.5m in damages from Venice ship collision

by Christian Fleetwood

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has levelled a lawsuit against MSC Cruises over massive damages sustained in a Venice ship collision last year.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: Registrations open for RWC 2023, Counselling for agents impacted by bushfires + MORE!

This week’s Agent Wrap is full of everything you need on a Friday: news of agents on voyages around the world, plenty of pictures and, most importantly, a short word count.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Wholesaler launches flexible European coach-touring brand

The new brand combines the convenience of escorted tours and the independence of FIT, with guaranteed departures on all tours, regardless of their size.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aussie influencer slammed after tricking airline into free business-class upgrade

by Huntley Mitchell

An Australian influencer has copped a swathe of criticism after wearing a moon boot to successfully con airline staff into a free business-class upgrade.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

South Australian Tourism Commission warned ‘Old mate’ ads weren’t “child-friendly” months before launch

Just released documents have shown that the SATC was warned its now infamous ‘Old mate’ ads were inappropriate months before the campaign even launched.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week: Ex-Liberals leader named Boeing’s new regional boss, CMV’s team expansion + MORE!

If this edition of Flavour of the Week was a marine animal, it would be a blue whale. In other words, this wrap is an absolute whopper.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

PHOTOS: Coco the very good rabbit scores a seat in business class

Nobody freak out, but we’ve got some very important news: this very cute bunny rabbit wearing a bowtie just scored its own seat in business class, and the photos are SO CUTE!

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Coronavirus poses bigger threat to Aussie airports than SARS: analyst

Meanwhile, China has placed more than 18 million people in lockdown overnight as the number of those infected climbs to 650, with 18 confirmed deaths.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Wendy Wu Tours’ Aussie boss exits after less than three months

Troy Ackerman’s sudden departure follows that of Wendy Wu Tours global CEO Joe Karbo in July last year.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas, Virgin Australia update pet travel policies following dog deaths

by Christian Fleetwood

Australia’s leading carriers will introduce further precautions on their pet policies, in association with the RSPCA.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Canberra Airport closed as fire services use airfield to fight “out of control” bushfire

Canberra Airport has cancelled departures and arrivals as its airfield is used by aviation fire services to facilitate aerial firefighting efforts.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Accor’s new rideshare partner, Melia Hotels International opens first Thai hotel + MORE!

Welcome to the Hotel Wrap. This week’s addition features some gobsmackingly wonderful properties which we warn could cause a severe case of FOMO.

Share

CommentComments