We see that over 2007 Tourism Victoria has developed seven Tourism Excellence modules based on the view that “Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.” (Ralph Marston). Why not check them out in relation to your business or community/destination? The modules are:
In Victoria’s East Gippsland there have been several different tourism structures over the years and by 2004 the East Gippsland Shire and other local authorities realised that despite the survival of 13 small Business and Tourism Associations (BTAs) there was still the need for an overarching body so the small businesses that make up the regional tourism industry could speak with one voice.
It was realised that a top-down approach to tourism management would not work and it was important to create an independent organisation, ‘owned’ by the industry. They needed a major project as a focus that would also act as the ‘glue’ to keep everyone focussed and committed.
PUBLIC – PRIVATE SECTOR RELATIONSHIPS
Reps from government bodies and Council sit in on meetings as observers only – no voting rights. A healthy relationship has developed between this regional body and its lower level BTAs, as well as with the regional marketing body Destination Gippsland.
A new visitors’ guide that would set a new standard for the region was produced in conjunction with East Gippsland Newspapers.
$20,000 for the production came from a previous tourism trust account and this together with some funds from Tourism Vic meant a talented graphic designer could be employed. The final budget was $100,00 with additional drought and bushfire relief money.
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT WORK
Bindi Gove of Tourism Alliance Vic says:
“There was a high degree of leadership development and mentoring as well as a major sense of grassroots level ownership…At the start of each meeting for the first year we had to remind each other why the group had been formed and what it needed to achieve. I got the reps to write down exactly the messages they needed to take back to their BTAs..There were so many other issues the group wanted to get involved with and many other organisations wanting to join in but we kept highly focussed…and established a team over 12 months.”
“Tourism groups in their initial stages need a key project to maintain their focus. Don’t get distracted by side issues and don’t hold meetings for the sake of it.
Funds will generally flow to the body that is focussed and can truly speak on behalf of the industry.
Try to get a consistent group of people meeting at least once a month; avoid proxies and the churning of representatives.
Rather than trying to hand-pick the skills you need, try to work with the skills available and introduce a strong leadership and mentoring component to encourage them..”
It would be interesting to hear from other regional areas and how they ‘grow their destination’???