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A new era for regional tourism


Brigid Veale
30 March 2009
With members from Beaudesert in Queensland to Margaret River in Western Australia, the Australian Regional Tourism Network (ARTN) provides a vital link between regional tourism stakeholders right across the nation.

Vivienne Palmer has been appointed manager for the Network and is based at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus.

Network chairman Rod Caldicott welcomed the appointment and particularly the placement at Southern Cross University.

“It symbolises the very strong relationship ARTN enjoys with the University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management,” he said. “Regional institutions supporting regional initiatives are certainly the way of the future.”

Ms Palmer said the ARTN was instrumental in a range of regional tourism initiatives, supporting members in all Australian states and territories.

“I am looking forward to bringing a fresh approach to the role of network manager,” Ms Palmer said.

“Our aim is to boost the profile of regional tourism and increase the profitability and yield for members supporting this sector of the industry. We are also looking to develop best-practice techniques and ensure tourism operators, particularly in regional areas, have access to support services and the opportunity to improve their skills.

“Certainly one of my goals is to increase the relevance of the ARTN in the day-to-day operations of tourism businesses and make it a keystone for their success.”

One of the key activities of the ARTN is the annual Australian Regional Tourism Convention, which will this year be held in Alice Springs from August 31 to September 4. The theme of this year’s convention is - Protecting our Past with Future Plans.

Ms Palmer brings to her new role a range of experience in the tourism industry, both in the private and government sector.

“I have experience in private enterprise, destination marketing and local government and so can truly appreciate the various challenges and motivators of tourism industry stakeholders at every level,” she said.

Ms Palmer’s previous experience includes roles at the Ballina Shire Council, Townsville Enterprise Convention Bureau and event management companies in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

“This experience coupled with the ARTN’s vibrant and expansive network of operators and supporting organisations mean that the Network is ready to really kick some goals for tourism often forgotten outside of metropolitan areas.”

Photo: Vivienne Palmer has been appointed manager of the Australian Regional Tourism Network.