• About Us

    We like to shake things up, think differently.

    We are tourism specialists with extensive international networks, ensuring we can offer our clients a no find, no fee promise.

    Our directors are highly engaged with talent development and sit on a variety of boards in the tourism and education sectors.

Our Team – NZ


Jason HillManaging Partner

Jason has held a variety of senior roles within the New Zealand tourism industry and is also Managing Director of Meneth Consulting. Until late 2017 he was Head of Tourism at Auckland Tourism, Event and Economic Development (ATEED) for six years, responsible for the international and domestic marketing of Auckland as a visitor destination, as well as new product development and destination management.

Prior to that Jason was based in Tokyo as Regional Manager for Tourism New Zealand for over five years implementing the 100% PURE NEW ZEALAND global marketing campaign in the Japanese and Korean markets. Other roles include five years as General Manager Marketing at Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism, and Marketing Manager at BTM Marketing and Translations.

He is currently on the board of Tourism Bay of Plenty, deputy Chair AUT School of Tourism and Hospitality industry advisory board, and a director Te Haerenga, Ngai Tai ki tamaki iwi. Previous governance roles include Chairman of the Association of National Tourism Organisations in Japan (ANTOR), Cruise New Zealand board, I-Site NZ board, and Pacific Asia Travel Association board (PATA. He was also the catalyst in establishing the PATA Global Insights Conference in Auckland that ran for 3 years and setting up the PATA student chapter at AUT.

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Dylan RushbrookPartner

Dylan is co-founder of Tourism Talent and has been passionate about helping young New Zealanders understand the opportunities that tourism careers can bring for a long time. He was a founding board member of YoungTEC NZ and the organisation’s chair for two years.

When leaving high school Dylan’s career options were limited due to his lack of interest in the traditional school curriculum. He managed to find his way into tourism as a kitchen hand and in awakening his practical side, has had a highly successful 25 years in the industry he loves. Dylan went on to gain a Bachelor of Tourism from the University of Otago and worked his way up through the hospitality sector into senior operational management roles. An opportunity saw live in Auckland for 8 years, where he undertook executive sales and marketing roles with SKYCITY Entertainment Group and then Heritage Hotel Management.

Dylan relocated with his young family to Central Otago in 2018, where he is also the General Manager of the regional tourism organisation and holds board roles with the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand and Dunedin Venues Management Limited. Dylan is a regular mentor to the YoungTEC professional development program and an advisor to Lightning Lab Tourism 2019.

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Nuwanthie SamarakoneDirector

Nuwanthie is the CEO of ICE, an early in careers people consultancy firm specialising in designing, delivering and developing schemes for organisations looking to build talent pipelines for the future. ICE utilise analytics, experience and industry insights in conjunction with the support of technology to challenge and drive new thinking. This revitalised thought process enables us to help organisations entirely reimagine their approach towards organisational early talent acquisition, management and development.

She believes that young and aspiring individuals represent the future of the organisational environment and will be responsible for driving the seismic shift in both workplace culture and functionality that we will begin to witness emerge over the coming years. Due to this phenomenon, it is critical that organisations look forward towards future thinking that both aligns and proofs their strategic talent schemes.

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Our Team – AUSTRALIA


Karen PriestManaging Director

Karen Priest’s extensive career spans 30 years' in the tourism and hospitality sector in the United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand and Western Australia. Karen is the Principal of Smart Tourism a boutique marketing consultancy which provides strategic solutions and advice to the tourism industry. She has gained significant destination marketing and management experience working in senior roles with various regional, state and national tourism agencies including Tourism Australia, Tourism Western Australia, New Caledonia Tourism, Tourism South West and Mandurah and Peel Tourism Organisation.

Karen has worked in the wine industry, the caravan & camping sector and has an extensive hotel management background. In 2012 she was the recipient of the Australian Hotels Association (Western Australia) Executive Level Manager Award.

She has served on several tourism industry boards and committees including Tourism Council Western Australia (TCWA), the Perth Convention Bureau, the WA Branch of the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and Friends of the Bibbulmun Track.  Currently, she serves as a Board Commissioner at Tourism Western Australia. Karen is known for developing and implementing strong growth strategies using her effective leadership, sales, marketing, communication and presentation skills. She has a broad network of contacts within tourism and the media in Australia and overseas. With her passion for tourism marketing and helping businesses succeed she is highly regarded by the industry as a specialist in her field.

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Chris FlynnDirector

Mr Chris Flynn, is a senior tourism specialist with more than 30 years experience at the most senior level of industry.

Internationally recognised as a leader in terms of tourism development and strategy, Chris is a regular speaker at high profile events and provides insights and perspective to leading news media channels such as BBC World News Asia Business Report.

With a career that has spanned four continents operating in regions such as: UK, Europe, United States, Asia and the Pacific, Chris has developed an intimate knowledge of the global tourism industry and the requirements needed to identify, explore and capitalise on new growth opportunities within a fast-paced environment

A past member of the APEC Tourism Working Group and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Consular Consultative Group, his expertise is regularly sort by Governments, Public-Sector Agencies, NGO’s and International Education groups and faculties.

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  • “Tourism Talent have been a huge help to Maverick Digital, using their fantastic tourism connections to help us fill a senior role. We would absolutely recommend their services to anyone within the tourism industry.”

    Alex Dykman
    Founder – Maverick Digital

  • “At GO we had some mammoth exciting plans ahead around business growth and redefining what Car Rental means to customers. We contacted Tourism Talent to help us find a Head of Marketing and Brand as we like their unique and different approach. TT delivered to us the perfect candidate and we’re huge advocates for what they do!”

    James Dalglish
    Managing Director – GO Rentals

  • “Working with Tourism Talent gave us great confidence as we know that they have strong industry knowledge and connections which ultimately led to a placement that was super relevant and successful. Their care and communication was also excellent.”

    Travis Donoghue
    GM Waitomo Group – Tourism Holdings

  • We connected with Tourism Talent to find a BDM and within a few weeks they had identified the perfect candidate. Their knowledge of our business and our industry matched with their networks makes Tourism Talent the obvious choice when seeking to fill executive level roles.

    Craig Binney
    Scenic Hotels Group, Head of People and Culture

  • Finding tourism expertise at the required level Tomahawk needs has always been a challenge, that is until Tourism Talent launched. For two years we tried to fill a role through ‘traditional’ HR firms, Seek and other channels but came up with either no one or a couple expensive mis-hires. TT’s processes and ability to find the perfect candidate for our team has played a significant role in our company’s growth and evolution.

    Gina Paladini
    Tomohawk, Marketing Director

@tourismtalentnz

Dylan speaking at the TIA Tourism Summit as part of the people and skills panel #tourismtalent #passionforchange
Huge congratulations to the finalists in the inaugural Employer of Choice at this year’s New Zealand Tourism Awards.
AJ Hackett Bungy
GCH Aviation
SKYCITY Entertainment Group
Sudima HotelTourism Talent is proud to be sponsoring this award and supporting great examples who are showing leadership in promoting tourism as an outstanding career!
#tourismsummit19
Listening to the panel talking about Iwi Involvement in Tourism. How do we get more Maori youth in to tourism careers? #tourismsummit19
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