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Convention focuses on regional tourism


Brigid Veale SCU communications manager
11 August 2006
Meeting the challenges faced by regional tourism operators will be one of the issues explored by Tim Fischer, the chair of Tourism Australia, during his keynote speech at the 2006 Australian Regional Tourism Convention, from August 19 to 23.

The convention, presented by Southern Cross University’s Australian Regional Tourism Research Centre (ARTRC) and supported by Tourism Australia, will be held at one of Australia’s unique destinations - Norfolk Island.

“There is a great deal which is exciting about domestic and international tourism in 2006, from the big bookings of ‘Canadian snowbirders’, who spend the bitter Canadian winter down here in the Australian summer, to the success of the caravan safaris and the ‘no leave, no life’ prototype for domestic tourism,” Mr Fischer said.

“Whilst high fuel prices are having an impact, it is a two-edged sword as destinations close to big cities learn how to promote short journeys and people become adept at scheduling various forms of public transport.”

Mr Fischer is expected to elaborate on ways to meet the challenges facing regional tourism operators, with a special emphasis on better utilising research to provide guidance for operators.

The Australian Regional Tourism Convention is a key forum for Australia’s regional tourism stakeholders, bringing together local and regional tourism associations, regional businesses, economic development interests and State tourism organisations with the aim of building innovative strategies to grow and manage regional tourism in a sustainable way.

The key themes of the conference will explore best practice in the sustainable destination development, management and marketing of regional destinations. Sorrel Wilby, a Getaway presenter and a resident of Norfolk Island, will be the MC. The convention will feature a range of speakers from across Australia.

Louise Terry, Marketing Manager for Tourism Noosa, will discuss the importance of
destination management in Noosa, where initiatives such as an off-season marketing
campaign, a population cap and sustainable tourism indicators aim to influence, manage and measure the impacts of tourism growth in the region.

ARTRC business manager and convention organiser Ms Donna McIntyre said Norfolk Island would provide a spectacular backdrop for the convention.

“In addition to exploring current regional tourism issues, delegates will have the opportunity to see the island in all its majestic glory, choosing from three different field trips that focus on ecotourism, heritage tourism and farm and industry,” Ms McIntyre said.

For information contact Donna McIntyre on 66203503 or 0427906606 or visit the website