Jake Downing

Jake Downing

Attractions, Conferences and Events sector

Head of Tourism, Wētā Workshop

Jake’s 20+ year career has been fully focused on the tourism industry working across specialist tourism retail sales, operations and general management, and all aspects of the distribution chain.

Jake’s governance experience began when he was appointed Director of the Falkland Islands’ Development Corporation, and General Manager of the Tourism Board in 2007. 

During this period, he completed a postgraduate degree in Financial Management, which proved to be excellent training for his next governance role as Director of i-SITE New Zealand.

Jake has been Head of Tourism at Wētā Workshop for the past seven years, in a role that encompasses all aspects of strategy and management: from sales and marketing, to operational delivery, through to HR.

At the end of 2020 Jake led the opening of a new Auckland experience for Wētā Workshop: Wētā Workshop Unleashed. In the first six months of operation, Unleashed has welcomed 60,000 visitors and has a 5-star rating on Trip Advisor.

Jake also sits on the Tourism Export Council Board and the Business Events Aotearoa Board and has assisted both organisations navigate through the current challenging times.