2015 ARTN Convention!
Two weeks ago, Linda and Lisa set off for the 2015 ARTN Convention, a significant event for the tourism industry that brings together government agencies, practitioners, organisers and operators to discuss, debate and investigate issues, challenges and opportunities facing regional tourism.
The 2015 Convention was hosted by Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia. A key part of the week-long event was ‘Convention on the Move’, interactive field trips to different regional destinations within the host state for the purpose of on the ground learning, skill development and networking, a highlight for the L’s as they got to put on their tourist hats to take part in some of the unique experiences on offer in this region.
Linda set off exploring the hidden gems of the Fleurieu Peninsula with Off Piste 4WD tours, saying “It was great to see a passionate small operator doing great things to promote the region...I really learnt that operators who take the time and effort to engage and leverage their RTO and STO will get the best results. I know that it is never easy, but people like Ben are very inspiring. On the flip side I learnt that our operators (the ones out their doing the hard work to ensure visitors have a good experience) are the ones we need to support and nurture more.”
Lisa took to the waters of the Coorong and Murray Mouth! “I had a fantastic time exploring the Coorong and hearing its story as delivered by Canoe the Coorong who offered an environmentally sustainable and culturally responsible tourism experience. It's great to see young and enthusiastic tourism operators investing in the industry.”
To explore the Fleurieu Peninsula for yourself, click here.
It wasn’t all just fun on the Fleurieu, eventually the L’s got down to business to focus on how they can assist in improving regional tourism.
Tilma’s Key Out Takes from the ARTN Convention Program:
- The conversation around how Regional Tourism Organisations are structured and funded remains a hot topic. Will it ever be solved? It will be great if ARTN can take this by the horns and make progress.
- As a country we are in a great position for growth - we need to ensure our regions have the capacity to handle this and we need to work in partnership to encourage regional dispersal and growth to more rural and remote communities.
- Story telling is key - we all have a story to tell
- Unless we work in partnership and collaborate to promote regional/rural and remote Australia we will continue to just cruise along. All levels of Government and industry need to team up. Cross sector partnerships are extremely important, for example Regional Development Australia, NPWS, Convention Bureaus and more.
- There is a real opportunity ongoing to build on the growing interest we have seen in more personalised ‘money can’t buy’ experiences which allow tourists to learn, discover and reconnect. If regions can work together across shire and RTO boundaries, to package product and position ourselves competitively, this is an area where regional, rural and remote Australia can excel.
- Nurturing our operators is vital - without them we have nothing. What are we doing to ensure we can build the capacity of our awesome operators in regional/rural and remote communities? This needs to become a high priority on the agenda, as it seems to have fallen off.
- Government needs to take tourism serious - this is an industry that drives solid economic growth and prosperity in regional Australia. IF YOU WANT SOME STATS:
With the industry contributing $107 billion in expenditure and $53.7 billion to the investment pipeline, there is no doubt that tourism is a key pillar of Australia’s economic prosperity.
Congratulations to Megan for winning 2015 Young Tourism Professional (go Outback QLD!), but more importantly a massive congratulations to Tilma Director, Lisa Cameron, who represented NSW in the Awards. She made us so proud with her confident, thorough and extremely professional presentation on regional dispersal. It was fantastic to see that the standard was extremely high this year which shows that our industry is in good hands.
Lisa believes it is vital for industry leaders to connect and share knowledge with tourism’s emerging leaders, the Young Tourism Professionals, and together ARTN and MyTravelResearch.com play an important role in facilitating that. “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would highly recommend this program to other young professionals”, she said. You can watch Lisa’s presentation here.
In other ARTN Convention news, Linda is on the ARTN Board for another year, saying “I am really looking forward to this as I believe the next 12 months will be crucial in forming the future for the organisation and the industry”.
One of the most valuable elements of the annual ARTN convention is the networking! It is a great opportunity to connect with fellow tourism professionals from throughout Australia, and provides a great platform to meet new tourism geeks and make new business connections. It is also a load of fun - shell cards, need we say more!
Thank you to all involved in this year’s ARTN Convention, we look forward to seeing everyone in Outback Queensland next year... You are in for a treat!