This time, we look into the events that led Erik de Roos from his birthplace Zwolle – to Adelaide today – where he is responsible for marketing the beautiful state of South Australia to the world.
It all started during his studies at the Breda University of Applied Sciences – where Erik studies Tourism Management and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2003. His studies took him to the US state of Vermont, which is best known as the home of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and maple syrup.
In Vermont, Erik completed an internship at the Ascutney Mountain (Ski) Resort. At the same time, Erik’s now wife, Gloria, was there on a working holiday. As it happens, Gloria was from Adelaide and she moved with Erik to the Netherlands where they lived together for some years. The couple then decided to move to South Australia for lifestyle and family reasons and in December 2004, Gloria and Erik arrived in Adelaide. They since got married and today they are blessed with 3 young boys.
When he moved to Adelaide, Erik had hoped to secure a job in the South Australian Tourism industry. Unfortunately, there were limited opportunities and Erik found work in the advertising industry instead. Erik called advertising home for about a decade, working from the bottom up. As Head of Account Management at Clemenger BBDO, Erik served iconic South Australian clients, like Jacob’s Creek, San Remo, and the Motor Accident Commission, where Erik helped produce some of the most recognised and award-winning advertising campaigns in the state.
When Clemenger BBDO merged with KWP in 2015 after closing its Adelaide offices, Erik decided to take a different path and join a challenger advertising agency: cummins&partners. However, an offer he could not refuse ended this path after 18 months, as San Remo asked Erik to become their Chief Marketing Officer. In this capacity, Erik was responsible for setting the strategic marketing direction for some of Australia’s most recognised FMCG brands, including San Remo, Fantastic Snacks and Balfours Bakery.
For 5 years Erik was at the helm of San Remo’s marketing, but he had never forgotten about his first passion and ambition when coming to Australia, to share the well-kept secret of Adelaide and South Australia with the whole world. Telling about a place, not only recognised as one of the top 3 best places to live, but a destination that is not naturally exposed to mass tourism, with vast beauty and diversity of landscapes and experiences on offer!
In July 2021 Erik came full circle when he landed the position of Executive Director Marketing for the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC). He now leads the State's Destination Marketing department and set its strategic marketing plans. Erik can focus all the expertise he gained on his journey through tourism, advertising and marketing on generating demand for South Australia as a premium, boutique tourism desitination and in turn, help grow the South Australian visitor economy!
Without a doubt, accepting this new job in the midst of a global pandemic was not without its challenges. The South Australian tourism industry, which pre-Covid contributed in excess of $8bn and 40,000 jobs to the South Australian economy, was severely impacted by border closures, lockdowns and trading restrictions. However, supporting the industry through these challenging times has only strengthened Erik’s resolve to hep drive the recovery of the State's visitor economy.
Erik is optimistic about the future of South Australia's tourism industry and is excited about playing a part in promoting our beatiful State to Australians – and he rest of the world!
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