David Hancock. PHOTO/FILE

After eight years in charge of the region’s tourism organisation, Destination Wairarapa, David Hancock is stepping down.

It comes after the sign-off of a memorandum of understanding with the three district councils which ensures funding for the organisation through to 2022 and includes a review of what they will deliver as a regional tourism organisation.

Hancock said he was proud of how far the organisation had come in his eight years as general manager.

“With the position that the organisation is now in, it is an excellent time for someone else to take over.”

The tourism sector is a significant contributor to the economy, with tourism related spend in Wairarapa nearly $195 million for the year ending June 2019.

Destination Wairarapa played a key role in promoting and marketing the region, he said.

“As an organisation Destination Wairarapa is performing very strongly.

“A good demonstration of this is that while Wairarapa ranks 24th in terms of funding of the 30 RTOs in the country, our website performance in unique visitors and pages visited ranks 12th.

“This reflects well on the skill level of the team and how they promote the region and drive people to learn more about spending time in Wairarapa.”

Destination Wairarapa board chairman Robin Dunlop said Hancock had a done a tremendous job, leading the organisation through a strong period of growth.

“Under David’s leadership Destination Wairarapa has become a well-regarded and very effective RTO,” he said. “The board will be very sad to see him go.”

Hancock will remain at Destination Wairarapa until December 20.