Simon has 25 years experience in tourism planning, development and operations, he is Director of Simon McArthur & Associates and has prepared over 15 local and regional Tourism Plans for destinations. He has implemented similar planning at the State level to tourism and protected area management agencies. He also has extensive experience in destination and operational tourism marketing. He re-branded Newcastle, coordinated five campaigns for leisure and business markets and has generated a significant record in winning one off events to lift a destination’s profile.
Simon has worked for as a tourism manager for local and State governments and has worked with the private sector as a tourism developer and operator. He was a major reformer for the City of Newcastle, but regards his greatest achievements as being with the private sector, including Australia’s first green mainstream hotel for the Sydney Olympics, the development of several ecolodges and tented camps in Central America, the conservation and adaptive reuse of the North Head Quarantine Station into Q Station Retreat, and the adaptive reuse of several Mexican haciendas into five star retreats for the Starwood Group.
Simon is both creative and logical, moving from ideas generation and market and financial analysis to full implementation and evaluation. He is renown for his ability to interpret social trends into unmet market needs and then into creative product development that meets these needs. Simon has an innate skill to match target markets to products and identify products that are mismatched. Simon is differentiated from peers by his business skills to then perform comprehensive feasibility assessments, business plans and business development. With a decade developing and operating tourism businesses, he has the commercial capacity to know what can work and what is unlikely to work.
Simon has been an active member of a number of tourism associations. Simon has extensive qualifications that include a Masters in Business Administration, PhD in Tourism Management,
Associate Professorship in Hotel Management and Bachelor of Applied Science in Natural Resource Management