Fiona Macdonald is one of those rare people that knew what she wanted to do from a young age. As an avid outdoor sports fan in her teens, Fiona was keen to promote the beautiful country and landscape and knew that a career in tourism was for her.
“People who work in tourism boards tend to be incredibly proud and I was, I still am, an incredibly proud kiwi,” she says. “Working in that industry is a great way to show off how great your country is.”
One of her early career highlights was when former Prime Minister John Key personally chose to give tourism the senior ministerial platform that it so richly deserves. Key was one of the few PMs to choose to become the Minister for Tourism and Fiona, who was working at the Ministry of Tourism at the time, believes that showed the importance of the sector. “It’s really one of the best outcomes that a country’s tourism board can ask for,” she says. “It helped elevate the industry on New Zealand’s radar and it’s now taken very seriously.”
After moving to London in 2011, Fiona now calls both NZ and the UK home so it’s fitting that she’s putting that same sense of national pride into her current role representing Britain. As the Senior Manager for Business Events at VisitBritain - the UK’s national tourist board, Fiona works in attracting international events to the UK as part of the government-wide ‘GREAT Britain’ campaign.