Tourism operators, council officers and Baw Baw Tourism Board members met recently in Melbourne with Tourism Victoria officers. Bill Fox, Manager Regional Tourism, led the way.
THREE KEY CHALLENGES:
1) Identify key actions that will make a difference
a. Have a realistic time frame
b. Measure success – where are we now?
2) Get industry and communities on board
3) Remain focussed and determined.
a. Have a plan and stick to it
b. Maintain energy
We need to stay abreast of changing technology and markets and shifting demographics Bill Fox advised.
Roger Grant CEO of Geelong Otway Tourism shared some tourism truths:
1)Tourism is predominantly about the private sector – about generating economic/commercial activity;
2)Tourism has no borders and is all about how visitors define their experience;
3)Our perception of tourists may need to change – refer to them as ‘visitors’;
4)Not all tourism is beneficial to the community. It is not about the volume of tourists, it needs to deliver economic benefits. We need to be ‘strategic’.
4)Tourism is broader than marketing – perhaps product development is more important.
5)Tourism should be defined by those who benefit, which might include people far from where visitors spend their money.
6)You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
7)Tourism management structures must be industry driven. Form a partnership – let local government facilitate but not control.
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