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Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison’s favourite holidays Down Under

She worked as a tour guide in India, Turkey, and Britain, and travelled extensively in the tourism industry, including a stint as global product manager for STA Travel in London. But, after six years working as general manager of sales for Hamilton Island Enterprises, Phillipa Harrison has found her home at Tourism Australia, where she’s been managing director and CEO for the past two years. When not at work, she loves travelling with her husband John Burgess and daughters, aged 9 and 13.

Pip and her family on holiday on Hamilton Island in 2016
Pip and her family on holiday on Hamilton Island in 2016

My ideal family holiday is…

One that has something for everyone – our holidays in the last decade have had to be family-friendly, so we paused some things like walking and diving when the girls were very young. It’s exciting that they are finally at an age where we can get them out doing that stuff. I travel often with work, so it’s a joy when I’m able to spend some time away with my family. We (used to!) spend a lot of time in Europe seeing my husband’s family, but some of our favourite holidays are right here in Australia exploring our own backyard and spending time out in nature – skiing, diving (or snorkelling in the case of the girls) or just being at my parent’s property.

My fondest family holiday memory is…

Family road trips as a child. Dad offering a Mars bar as a prize to whoever spotted some landmark first. And endless days at the beach when we finally got to our destination.

Phillipa Harrison with Tourism Australia ambassador Chris Hemsworth
Phillipa Harrison with Tourism Australia ambassador Chris Hemsworth

Family travellers may not be aware…

How many family-friendly tourism experiences we have here in Australia. There are incredible opportunities to explore our states and territories with your family – whether it’s a big adventure to the Red Centre, a visit to the Great Barrier Reef, exploring the Great Ocean Road, or the Kimberley region.

Every family should experience…

An extended epic holiday in Australia.

Phillipa Harrison on a trip to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary with her family as a baby
Phillipa Harrison on a trip to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary with her family as a baby

My top tip for travelling with kids is…

Let every member of the family curate a travel day. It gets incredible engagement from the kids, and they do actually come up with some fun things to do!

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