Tars Bylhouwer has a particular interest and extensive experience in tourism, from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Tars completed his Tourism Degree at Newcastle University and went on to lecture and tutor at the same University and at various TAFE colleges around Newcastle. He is the current president of the Australian Institute of Tourism Officers (AITO) which is dedicated to the personal development of tourism industry professionals.
From 2011 to 2014 Tars was engaged as the CEO of Destination Port Stephens and had the prime responsibility for marketing, industry engagement and product development. He wrote the Port Stephens Destination Management Plan which addressed the integration of tourism and the visitor economy within the local community and provided a blueprint for the development of a co-operative and inclusive approach based on “shared values”.
As the Marketing Manager for Port Stephens Tourism for 15 years, Tars was responsible for Destination Marketing with the key objective of both building tourism as a sustainable industry and specifically to “smooth out” seasonal peaks. During this time he sat on various regional and state tourism advisory boards and marketing groups.
Tars has owned and operated a number of small businesses ranging from food outlets, a dive charter boat and scuba training. He is currently the Managing Director of Action Allied Healthcare and is focussed on creating innovative approaches to the management of diabetes.