Council drives new tourism strategy, urges industry to attend workshops
Posted: February 7, 2012
Tourism is a vital and growing part of the region’s economy and Southern Downs Regional Council has announced it is embarking on a new tourism planning process.
Mayor Ron Bellingham said the idea was to develop a strategy for tourism to build the Southern Downs into one of the most successful inland tourism regions in Australia.
“At the end of the day, Council sees tourism as an important part of the region’s economic future and we want to see it taken to the next level,” the Mayor said.
Council has now appointed international tourism experts, TEAM Tourism, to develop the new Regional Tourism Strategy and a series of Local Destination Action Plans.
“This is totally different to the tourism structure review under the Southern Downs Tourism Transition Committee,” Cr Bellingham said.
“That review is looking at the organizational structure for effective tourism management in the region, whereas the Regional Tourism Strategy is a new planning process looking at both short and long term strategies to grow tourism in the area.
“The Strategy will look at opportunities for overall destination development and issues like gaps in tourism infrastructure,” the Mayor said.
“It’s key that the local tourism industry contribute to this process and we’re now inviting local operators to participate at one of two workshops in February,” Cr Bellingham said.
The workshops are from 9:30am to 3:30pm on Tuesday, February 21 at the Town Hall, 72 Palmerin Street, Warwick; or Thursday February 23 at the Stanthorpe Civic Centre, corner of Marsh and Lock Streets, Stanthorpe.
From March 5th, 2012, there will also be a series of sector specific workshops in Stanthorpe on wine, culinary and agritourism; nature-based tourism including National Parks & State Forests/eco tourism; and in Warwick on sports and events tourism; and heritage, culture and indigenous tourism.
The workshops will be facilitated by Jennifer Houiellebecq, a leading international tourism strategy consultant from British Columbia, Canada, and John Alwyn-Jones, TEAM Tourism’s Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific tourism consultant.
The workshops will consider questions such as: what is the Region's longer-term vision for tourism; what is our competitive advantage and how do we compare to our competitors; how do we build on these advantages and strengthen our niche sectors such as agri-tourism, wine tourism, ecotourism, sports tourism etc; what factors might be hindering the growth of tourism within the Region; what products, services and infrastructure are needed to support and grow tourism in a sustainable manner; are we targeting market segments that are most likely to be attracted by our Region's tourism offerings and will bring the greatest benefit to the Region; what steps can be taken to further support the development and delivery of positive visitor experiences; and how do we make sure that the industry is working together in an effective manner to generate sustainable growth.
Justin Heaven, Council’s Economic Development Officer, said: “We are confident that TEAM Tourism’s substantial experience in the UK, Canada, across Europe, Australia, Saudi Arabia and many other countries, will bring a breath of fresh air and new thoughts and ideas to substantially benefit our region, giving us the competitive edge we need.
“This is a very exciting initiative by Council that will give our tourism industry the chance to look at both broader regional and more localised opportunities, and discuss ways of addressing any issues and concerns,” Mr Heaven said.
“We expect this process to ensure a strong, vibrant and competitive future for the Southern Downs tourism industry, that embraces the Southern Down Regional Council and operators throughout the region, large and small, and from all sectors.”
“These opportunities allow everyone involved in and affected by tourism in our region to have their opportunity to be involved in this exciting and dynamic process and have their say.
“The industry’s attendance at one of these workshops is vital, to provide the consultants with a comprehensive view of how we all want to see our tourism industry move forward.”
Please register as soon as possible, with more information available from http://southerndowns.qld.gov.au/page/Economic_Development/Economic_Development/Tourism_Strategy_Workshops and registrations can also be made on the same link or by contacting Lyn Alwyn-Jones on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0419 229 085.
Please specify in your registration, which of the workshops you will be attending and provide your name, business name, email address , telephone number and mobile number.