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SCU co-ordinates major regional tourism convention


Brigid Veale
12 September 2005
An upcoming key annual event for the regional tourism industry, the Tourism Australia Regional Tourism Convention, is being managed by Southern Cross University's Centre for Regional Tourism Research.

SCU's Ros Derrett, a member of the convention organising committee, said this year's event was in Busselton, Western Australia, from September 14 to 17. She said the event would be focused on issues with which every region grappled.

"Enhancing regional tourism through strong connections with visitors and communities, and the development of tourism knowledge and products is what every region in Australia works towards and what we are focussing on at this event," Ms Derrett said.

The four-day convention has attracted 150 delegates from around Australia including operators, state and regional tourism organisations, researchers, policy makers, marketing and local government personnel.

"Convention sessions and issues include technology, niche marketing, leadership in regional tourism, investment in regional communities, and keeping good staff in regional communities," Ms Derrett said.

The convention, always held in a regional area, moves between the states. Previous conventions have been held in Hobart, Lorne, Longreach (for Year of the Outback) and Port Macquarie.

The Hon. Mark McGowan, Western Australia's Minister for Tourism, will speak at the convention on September 14. Other speakers include: Scott Cogar, Broadwater Hotels and Resorts; Rick Burton, National Basketball League of Australia; and Bill Lawler, Amadeus Asia Pacific.

Ms Derrett said the convention was the only national forum for regional tourism businesses, organisations and other stakeholders to get together over regional issues.

She said an important outcome of the event was the Regional Tourism Handbook, a convention write-up offering innovative case studies and strategies back to the industry.

SCU works closely with industry to organise the event. Tourism Western Australia is co-hosting the event. Tourism Australia is a principal supporter, and has supported the event for the past three years. Support for the convention also comes from: the Australian Regional Tourism Network; the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre; AAA Tourism; Country Colour Group; Broadwater Hotels and Resorts; and Decipher.

The 2005 Tourism Australia Regional Tourism Convention is in Busselton, WA, from September 14 to 17. Abbey Beach Resort is the primary convention venue. See for more details on the convention.