Tuesday morning started with driving back to Launceston in time for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) where I was voted in as a new ARTN board member!

I really wasn’t sure what to expect and honestly didn’t expect to be elected in my first year of nominating, but it is an exciting time and means I will start a new journey on a national platform for regional tourism. Bring it on!

And when I talk about networking and making contacts I really think my new Convention friends helped with my election.

On our bus trip back to Launceston before the AGM we all got talking about the AGM and soon everyone realized I had nominated for the Board. I was then ‘made’ to do an impromptu pitch about why I should be elected.

Citing my story about how I first became interested in tourism when I did a case study on the little town of Nundle, near Tamworth, everyone on the bus applauded and cheered and made me feel a bit like I was running for President!

But, thanks to their encouragement I felt like I was much better prepared.

I then listened to a few presentations with John Speers from DDI talking about Capturing the Destination one of the standouts.  The main point being that imagery is the key in capturing the destination and marketing needs to drive revenue and bookings.

Tuesday night we all attended the Welcome Reception where the networking really began…

Tilma key out-takes:

-          45 cents in every dollar is spent in regional Australia

-          The consumer has changed forever, so we must embrace change as an opportunity

-          Social media needs to be at the core of marketing campaigns

-          The mission: need to encourage social media fans to talk about us!!


I enjoyed a beautiful early morning run, followed by an early business breaky where Mark Wilsdon from the new Museum of Old & New Art (MONA) gave an insight into its successful operation.

We then headed back to the Great Hall in Albert Hall for the start of the first full Conference day.

The Produce and People session was very interesting, and I took a lot out of this for operators in the Riverina. There is a great agricultural base in Tassie, which lends itself well to agri-tourism.

The Towards 2020: The Visitor Information Centre session was also informative. There was talk about how electronic media can and will take over face-to-face visitor services, something I agree with.

I then headed out for a Tamar River Cruise, where we experienced the beauty of the Cataract Gorge, followed by a waterfront dinner at Rosevears Waterfront Tavern. More networking and another late night!

Tilma key out-takes:

-          In order to get good results you must be driven by industry

-          Need to involve agriculture and producers in Riverina destination management

-          There are carbon tax grants and programs available for small businesses

-          Visitor Information Centre’s need to think creatively in order to survive the risk of the digital shift

-          There are advantages of using electronic media over face-to-face delivery, such as reduced costs and accurate messaging

EventsCristy HoughtonComment