Tourism Victoria introduces new CEO Paul Nursey

nursey.jpgPaul Nursey (left), Tourism Victoria’s new chief executive officer, comes to the capital region from the Canadian Tourism Commission and is packing plenty of background in B.C.

He starts his new job on Jan. 20.

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Nursey fills the vacancy created by Rob Gialloreto, who left the destination-marketing organization this year to become CEO of Consumer Protection B.C.

The job as head of Tourism Victoria tends to be a stable one. Gialloreto spent five years as CEO, following Lorne Whyte who served for 19 years.

Nursey’s skills and leadership stood out among candidates for the job, Dave Cowen, chairman of Tourism Victoria’s board, said Monday in a statement.

He arrives with 15 years of tourism leadership and management, based on a mix of private sector experience and in high-level work at the Canadian Tourism Commission, Cowen said.

Nursey, the commission’s vice-president of strategy and corporate communications, was the board’s unanimous choice, Cowen said.

“Greater Victoria is an important destination with strong product and a great brand,” Nursey said in the release. He was not available for an interview Monday.

Nursey said he is anticipating working in partnerships to take the sector into a “period of anticipated recovery and growth.”

Frank Bourree, tourism consultant at Chemistry Consulting in Victoria, said he “couldn’t be more delighted” that Nursey will be lead Tourism Victoria.

“He is amazing. He will be an awesome addition to Victoria.”

Nursey has strong marketing skills and a depth of experience in the industry, working in small and large organizations, Bourree said.

In addition, Nursey will bring an objective point of view, a fresh set of eyes and a global perspective, Bourree said.

Nursey takes over the job as Victoria looks back on a successful summer tourism season attributed to an improved economic climate and sunny summer weather. Tourism is a key economic driver in Victoria, even as the sector has gone through ups and downs partly due to the recession in 2008.

Since 2006, Nursey has worked for the Vancouver-based commission. His roles included leading its office of strategy management, as well as government relations, including policy and public affairs and corporate communications, and its market research and evaluation offices.

He led the commission’s product innovation and enhancement team, the organization’s website states.

Nursey is credited with positioning the commission as an international leader in destination marketing ideas and how the public and private sectors can work together effectively, Tourism Victoria said.

Harvard Business Press recognized Nursey with its Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame award in October.

He also served as a member of a Port Metro Vancouver’s Cruise committee providing advice on cruise-related issues.

Experience with the cruise industry is relevant in Victoria, where ships stop at Ogden Point on the Alaska cruise ship run.

Nursey was at Tourism Vancouver between 2001 and 2006, moving up to director of sales and visitor services.

He also worked for Rocky Mountaineer Railtours and as sales manager and head of media relations for Mount Seymour Resorts out of Vancouver.

Nursey earned degrees in economics and regional planning from Simon Fraser University and completed the executive development in tourism program from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

He is working on an online masters of business administration program with the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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