Gold Coast Company set to Transform Travel Agency with new CEO
World Resorts of Distinction (WRD), is delighted to announce the appointment of sustainable travel advocate and industry virtuoso, Tess Willcox, as Owner and CEO.
WRD is a leading, Gold Coast-based Resort Creative Agency that provides its carefully-curated portfolio of some of the world’s best luxury, sustainable resorts with a suite of personalised services including marketing, social media, sales, branding and publicity.
Tess has been a crucial member of the WRD team since 2004, when she joined the company as a Sales Executive fresh out of university with a Bachelor of Communications and dreams of becoming a travel journalist.
Today, 14 years later, she is celebrating the purchase of the business that has not only defined her career but has also allowed her to pursue her single greatest passion – championing environmental awareness.
“WRD is essentially an extension of my personal life and how much I love exploring and preserving the world,” Tess said. “I have always felt extremely fortunate to have my dream job and was driven to buy the business because I knew there were ways in which I could expand it that we hadn’t previously explored, including further embedding the sustainability seed within our culture.”
“My vision for WRD is that we trailblaze the sustainable luxury space in travel by curating a global community of socially responsible travellers who are committed to exploring the world, and conserving it at the same time,” she added.
Tess noted that while the travel industry has many cultural and economic benefits; it also, unfortunately, has a negative impact on the environment. It is one of the largest industries in the world – surpassing that of oil exports, food products and automobiles – and according to a study published in Nature Climate Change in May 2018, the carbon footprint of international travel is four times bigger than previously thought.
Increased pollution; discharges into the sea; habitat loss, alteration and fragmentation; and the depletion of the ozone layer are just some of the harmful impacts of global tourism, which produces about 8 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
“WRD was borne out of our desire to combat the negative environmental toll of the global travel industry and provide the growing number of conscious travellers with more responsible options,” Tess said.
Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs and hard workers, Tess is well versed in what it takes to build a successful business, and said surrounding herself with a skilled and equally passionate team is paramount.
“WRD is made up of creative, capable and driven professionals with a genuine appetite for environmentally-friendly travel,” she said. “We live and breathe sustainability and that’s what makes our team, vision and brand proposition so unique.”
“We’re a young team and we’re proud of it. We’re also entirely female, which is not exactly intentional because I am a big believer in diversity, but it is refreshing in the business world, especially on the Gold Coast, where a lot of the biggest companies are run predominately by men.”
Tess’ small yet dynamic and pioneering team of marketing, PR, social media and design specialists are intimately familiar with the travel industry and well equipped to challenge the status quo.
Their combined experience spans some of the biggest names in the tourism and hospitality sectors in Australia including Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific, MTA – Mobile Travel Agents, Mercure and Seaworld Resort & Water Park.
About World Resorts of Distinction
We are the home of transformative travel. We bring together a global community of travellers who seek authenticity and sustainability, offering a carefully-curated collection of socially responsible, sustainable and distinctive travel experiences in some of the world’s most luxurious settings.