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Minister to provide update on long-term tourism strategy


20 July 2009
A progress update on the highly anticipated Australian Long Term Tourism Strategy will be provided by the Federal Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson, at the annual Australian Regional Tourism Convention in Alice Springs from August 31 to September 4.

The strategy, based on recommendations put forward in the recently released Jackson Report, will shape the future of tourism in Australia and aim to better the industry’s triple bottom line of economic, environmental and social sustainability.

Considered one of the Australian tourism industry’s premier events, the convention attracts key industry players from around the country to debate, discuss and discover the challenges and opportunities facing regional tourism.

Vivienne Palmer is network manager for the Australian Regional Tourism Network which has organised the event with support from Tourism Australia and Southern Cross University's School of Tourism and Hospitality Management.

She said up to 150 delegates from both public and private sectors and from all states and territories were expected to attend.

“This event aims to teach tourism professionals genuine skills that they can then implement in their own destination and reap the benefits accordingly,” said Ms Palmer.

“As well as looking at how they can maintain and even improve their bottom line in this current economic climate, we will examine crisis management using case studies that take key learnings from real events like the oil spill in Moreton Bay and the fires in Victoria.

“Sophie Piron, who has been passed the torch by Al Gore to champion his climate change message, will deliver a presentation on how tourism operators can lessen their carbon footprint, and Tourism Research Australia will present the latest tourism statistics and forecasts.”

Other presentations include unveiling the outcomes of Tourism Queensland’s Sustainable Regions Funding Program and a presentation on overcoming recruitment and professional development challenges specific to the tourism industry by the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Southern Cross University.

Ms Palmer said regional tourism organisations faced distinct challenges.

“Regional destinations are a key element of Australia’s appeal to both domestic and international tourism. However, remote communities can operate very differently to their metropolitan counterparts and there is a greater emphasis on cooperation and knowledge sharing,” Ms Palmer said.

“It is essential regional tourism organisations and operators are equipped with the tools they need to be sustainable, and this event aims to achieve that.”

For more information or to register go to

For queries, contact Vivienne Palmer, Australian Regional Tourism Network (ARTN) – phone 02 6620 3785 or email [email protected], Zoe Satherley, Southern Cross University media officer, 6620 3144, 0439 132 095.

Photo: Vivienne Palmer, network manager for the Australian Regional Tourism Network. High resolution photo available on request.