Board Members

Tourism West Coast specialises in promoting the West Coast of the Southern Alps, New Zealand to the nation and the world. We know what makes the West Coast so unique and spectacular as a visitor destination and as a conference, meeting and incentives destination. If there is any information you need or queries you may have, our team is your first port of call.

Meet the team that work so hard on behalf of the West Coast region. Feel free to contact any of us for marketing contacts or ideas, feedback, to sign up to our newsletter or come along to our Board Meetings or Industry Workshops.

Get involved and be a voice for your community or district.

Tourism West Coast Staff

Jim Little - Chief Executive

Jim's main purpose in life is to attract more visitors to the West Coast and increasing their length of stay - More Visitors, More Often, Staying Longer Spending More. Plus all the attendant strategising, Trade Show & Industry related visits and local operator liaison required to achieve this. The buck stops here.

Phone: +64 3 769 7025

Samantha Beneke – Tourism Marketing Manager

Sam lives and breathes digital marketing. She thrives on identifying opportunities and bringing out the best in whatever she sets her sights on.

While new to the tourism industry, she’s a fast learner and wants to show the world how amazing West Coast, New Zealand is.

Phone: +64 27 537 5909


Alicia Ulrich - Marketing Assistant

Alicia is first in line for day to day administration, website queries and office managment. With all the little extras thrown in for good measure Alicia is kept VERY busy with her work. Alicias' normal office hours are 8.00 to 4.00 Monday to Friday.

Phone: +64 3 769 7024



Richard Benton - Industry Representative

Richard completed a Manager Buy Out of the International Antarctic Centre (only 2 shareholders) in December 2000 – purchasing the business from Christchurch International Airport Ltd. At the end of November 2011 he sold the Company back to the original vendor.

During those 11 years the attraction was twice been voted the best visitor attraction in NZ as part of the New Zealand Tourism Awards and won the Canterbury Champion Awards as the best medium/large size “Host” business in the region. The business was one of the first attractions in NZ to gain Qualmark accreditation and achieve Green Globe environmental status. It is very highly regarded among its peers.

Richard is an entrepreneur and a tourism leader who has a passion for innovation. He has been well trained in business practices and management working as a young man in Europe and the UK, and is widely travelled having been fortunate enough to have journeyed to Antarctica 4 times and visited all 4 historic huts in the Ross Dependency.

Deputy Chair

Margaret Montgomery - Buller District Council Representative

"My family and I have owned the Westport Holiday Park and Motels for the past 14 years. I am a Buller District Councillor for the Westport Ward and have been their representative on the Board of Tourism West Coast for the last 5 years. I am looking forward to working for all operators for the betterment of our amazing region".

Stephen Roberts - Grey District Council Representative

Stephen is a third generation West Coaster born on the West Coast and raised in Greymouth and Runanga. He enjoys the outdoor lifestyle that New Zealand offers and is very passionate about the West Coast.
Together with his wife Jan they run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth. A Qualmark 4 star plus Guest & Hosted property as well as Green rated Enviro-Silver showing their commitment to the environment through their business ethics. Breakers is also rated number 1 on Tripadvisor for accommodation in the Greymouth region.

As an avid photographer Stephen has set up Shakey Finger Photography – Stephen Roberts. Jan and Stephen are often out exploring the West Coast and Stephen always travels with his camera to capture the beauty of the region. Stephen is also a self-employed electrician. He has been self-employed since the mid 1990s running his own successful electrical business Stephen Roberts Electrical.

Alexander Tschampel – Westland District Council Representative

I have been working in the hospitality and tourism industry for the past 20+ years with the majority of these years in New Zealand. I have a true passion for the industry and can’t imagine doing anything else.

Four years ago I have moved together with my family from Aoraki Mount Cook to the Glacier Country Region to take on the General Manager position for the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier and loved every minute of it. It is such a remarkable place to call home and having the opportunity to showcase the area to national and international guests is really rewarding.

I am enthusiastic about my new appointment to the Tourism West Coast Board for the Westland District Council and I look forward to meeting all the operators that I proudly represent.

Tourism West Coast awards