Popular industry executive Richard Munro has returned as the CEO of the Accommodation Association of Australia (AA) as the organisation closes in on its merger with Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA).
Munro, who departed the AA in mid-2019 to become Group CEO of the Cronulla Sharks NRL organisation, is back at the Association following the departure of Dean Long to the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) as its CEO.
“It is an honour to be returning to this role to work with the Accommodation Association and lead the Association and its members through this milestone stage,” Munro said.
“I have been heavily involved in progressing the [AA and TAA] merger behind the scenes and look forward to moving it through to completion to reinforce the fundamentals of the accommodation sector so that we can better meet the immediate challenges as well as those ahead.
“This is a sector that I love and believe in and I am excited to be resuming the role of CEO of the Association,” he said.
Accommodation Association Chair, Julian Clark, welcomed the return of Munro as CEO.
“Richard has been heavily involved in the merger process and, in addition to his time as CEO of the Association, he brings 35 years-plus experience in our sector,” he said.
“He is an accomplished executive with a strong track record in operational roles for major brands including Sheraton, Southern Pacific Hotels, Christmas Island Casino, The Star and the Cronulla Sharks.
“Most recently, Richard has been leading and transforming the Coral Sea Resort in North Queensland.
“Richard is well known to members and his approach with a continued focus on advocacy will resonate with the Association’s membership base as the Association continues to push for additional support for our Sector,” Clark said.
Munro will step into the CEO role on September 20, a time that continues to be a crucial one for the accommodation sector as state borders remain closed, hotels struggle to fill staffing positions and as properties in New South Wales finally prepare for arrival of local guests again when lockdown restrictions ease.
The accomplished hotelier is well known for his extensive political lobbying and during his last tenure, was on several State and Federal Government boards and workgroups such as the Federal Collaborative Partnership on Mature Age Employment and the New South Wales Short-Term Rental Accommodation Code of Conduct Advisory Committee.
His appointment is fantastic news for the industry and will significantly boost the progression of the proposed merger between the AA and TAA.