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Conference puts focus on sustainable communities


26 August 2004
Southern Cross University’s Centre for Regional Tourism Research is, for the fourth time, managing Australia’s major annual national event for the regional tourism industry.

The See Australia Regional Tourism Convention will be in Lorne, Victoria, from September 8 to 10. The convention brings together key industry leaders and researchers for an event emphasising sustainable prosperity and community growth for the regional tourism industry.

Dean Carson, head of SCU’s Centre for Regional Tourism Research, said the convention included the most critical themes and issues for tourism in regions.

“The transition to a service-based community; the sea-change and ‘inland sea-change’ phenomena, waterfront development and re-branding regions are amongst the critical issues for regional tourism at the moment,” he said.

“An important outcome of the event is a handbook summarising regional case studies show-cased at the convention and examples from successful regions.”

SCU works closely with industry to organise the annual convention, which moves between the states from year to year. Previous conventions have been held in Hobart, Longreach (for Year of the Outback) and Port Macquarie.

This year, SCU’s Centre for Regional Tourism Research is working with Tourism Victoria, Country Victoria Tourism Council and Geelong Otway Tourism, the hosts for this year’s event in Lorne. Lorne is on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, an ideal backdrop for a convention discussing sustainability of external elements, plus the self and work/life balance.

The convention is an opportunity for professional networking and exchange for regional tourism officers, operators and managers from around the country.

High calibre speakers at the See Australia Regional Tourism Convention include: Dr Peter Ellyard, from Preferred Futures, noted futurist and strategic analyst speaking on prosperous rural communities; Rob MacIntyre, formerly of Totally Wellington, a $6.5 million regional tourism, events and retail marketing agency in New Zealand; Cliodhna Rae, CRC Travel Locum, speaking on business and industry development and HR issues: and Professor Graham Sansom, Centre for Local Government at the University of Technology, Sydney, and previously in State and local government.

In a final-day session entitled “What’s in it for Regions?”, a high profile panel of speakers led by See Australia CEO Graham Perry will explore the Federal Government’s recent Tourism White Paper. See Australia is a nationwide initiative encouraging Australians to holiday at home to stimulate growth in domestic tourism.

AAA Tourism is a key partner for the event. Convention sponsors are Surf Coast Tourism, Delta Europcar, Hertz Rental Car and Portable Creations.

The See Australia Regional Tourism Convention is at the Cumberland Resort, Lorne, from September 8 to 10. For program and registration details see the convention website at or contact Donna McIntyre at SCU’s Centre for Regional Tourism Research on email [email protected] or phone (02) 6620 3503.

Media contact: Brigid Veale, SCU Media Liaison, 66593006 or m. 0439 680 748.