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Media Release Tourism Adventur Group
Tourism Adventure Group appoints new CEO
WYSE News | June 13, 2023

Media Release

Tourism Adventure Group (TAG), a world-renowned player in the youth travel experiences market, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Tom Cooney as its new Chief Executive Officer. This appointment marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in TAG’s illustrious journey, reaffirming its commitment to delivering diverse, innovative, and memorable experiences to the youth travel market.

Tom Cooney, a seasoned veteran in the hospitality industry, embarked on his journey with TAG as a Duty Manager at one of Nomads’ St Kilda venues in 2011 following an 8 year period of backpacking and working around the globe. Demonstrating unrivaled commitment to the company’s vision and a keen understanding of its operations, he has climbed the ranks within the organisation, gaining experience and perspective from various roles within the business.

Cooney’s appointment as CEO comes at a time of significant growth for TAG, as the company continues to expand its global footprint and diversify its offerings to meet the evolving demands of the youth travel market. Cooney’s leadership is expected to bring a fresh perspective and innovative thinking to the group’s operations, positioning it for further success.

Reflecting on his appointment, Cooney stated: “It is an absolute honour to step into the role of CEO at TAG, a company that I’ve grown with over the past decade. The extraordinary team that drives this business forward is what truly sets TAG apart and I have unwavering confidence in our collective ability to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the youth travel sector.”

A key focus for Cooney and the TAG team is international expansion as well the continued vertical, horizontal and adjacent integration that has turned TAG into the broad portfolio of businesses it is today. Through its Nomads brand TAG opened its first property in Thailand earlier this year and whilst it was a significant milestone Cooney thinks it’s just the beginning. “As we look to the future, continued retail and technology expansion remains a key focus for us,” Cooney said. “Our mission is to provide unparalleled experiences for our guests, no matter where in the world their adventures take them.”

TAG’s rich portfolio of brands includes Mojosurf, Happy Travels, K’gari Safaris (formerly Nomads Fraser Island), Island Expeditions (formerly Palace Adventures), the Work & Travel Company and key travel technology holdings amongst others. Each subsidiary brings a unique flavour to TAG’s offerings, catering to a broad range of interests and adventure-seeking tendencies of young travellers worldwide.

One of TAG’s defining features is its industry-leading food & beverage offerings. In addition to providing over 3,500 beds across its properties, TAG operates nine F&B outlets, including The Scary Canary Sydney, Down Under Bar (Dunder) Brisbane, Boaty’s Airlie Beach and KB’s, Noosa. These venues not only offer a diverse range of dining and entertainment options but also serve as integral components of the overall travel experience that TAG provides.

The group’s commitment to offering a premium guest experience also extends to its internship program, K’gari tours, visa holder support programs and event offerings. TAG organises unique events like the Island Life festival on Magnetic Island, further enhancing its reputation as a provider of comprehensive and unforgettable travel experiences.

TAG’s co-founders, Daniel Bunning and Michael Ebert, along with their equity partners Dean Walsh and Cooney, have been pivotal in driving the group’s growth and evolution. Their leadership and vision have shaped TAG into the industry powerhouse it is today. As Cooney steps into his new role, Bunning, Ebert, and Walsh will continue to hold active board positions and key internal portfolios ensuring that their invaluable expertise will assist Cooney with TAG’s strategic direction.

Reflecting on this transition, Cooney said: “Daniel, Michael, and Dean have laid a strong foundation for TAG. Their continued involvement on the board will undoubtedly be a powerful asset as we navigate the future. Their passion, vision, and commitment to the TAG brand will continue to inspire our team as we strive to take our business to even greater heights.”

TAG’s commitment to creating extraordinary travel experiences, innovative entertainment, and tours have made it one of the fastest-growing youth tourism companies in the world.

“As with all hospitality businesses the pandemic required some strategic realignment from TAG but despite the challenging circumstances brought about by the global pandemic, TAG has shown resilience and an unwavering commitment to our mission” Cooney stated.

In 2019, the group reported its highest pre-pandemic revenues of $150m AUD and the road to recovery looks promising with Q3 revenue up 255% on last year, signalling a bright future ahead. As the group steps into the next phase of its growth trajectory, it remains firmly rooted in its mission: to create a social fabric that enhances the youth traveller experience.

Under Cooney’s leadership, TAG is set to continue its trajectory of growth and innovation, providing young adventurers around the world with unforgettable experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.

About Tourism Adventure Group (TAG)

TAG, known for creating extraordinary travel experiences for youth travellers, is one of the fastest-growing youth tourism companies worldwide. TAG owns multiple brands across all aspects of adventure travel, including the Nomads & Base Youth Hotel brands, and operates eleven properties across Australia, New Zealand and Thailand. TAG’s portfolio of nine licensed venues, live music events, adventure tours and their technology holdings contribute to an overall customer experience unlike any other in the industry.