Origins of the Forum
In 2015, Bus SA and SATIC met to discuss how the two member based organisations could collaborate on promoting the land transport component of tourism, leading to the Land Tourism Forum.
The Forum specifically focused on how tour and coach operators work in conjunction with destinations to deliver a tourism experience. The following is a summary of the presentations of the day and can be read in conjunction with the presenters’ PowerPoint slides.
The long distance charter and express sector of the bus industry is a strong contributor to the national tourism spend. For example, research by Tourism Research Australia indicates that international visitors to Australia spend over $8 000 per trip when in Australia, as compared with aircraft travelers that spend around $7 000 per trip.
This type of result can also be seen when looking at interstate and intrastate markets. The Bus Industry Confederation (BIC – part of the Bus Australia Network) in its Moving People Across Australia policy, calls for a National Land Transport Tourism Plan to support development of this sector.
The South Australian Tourism Industry Council (SATIC) is the peak tourism industry body in SA, and has around 700 members. Its mission is to undertake industry and project advocacy, business development programs and be a strong and sustainable membership organisation. SATIC is focused on developing the tourism by providing links between businesses in the tourism industry.
Tourism Markets – How They Work
A key to understanding how to develop your tourism business is to understand how you can influence the distinct market in which you function. There are 3 main markets to consider, each with slightly different characteristics: Intrastate, Interstate and Inbound.
Each of these markets need tour and coach operators, but are looking for different types of services to support the particular traveler. For example, inbound travelers are looking for a guided tour experience, with a vehicle that must have WiFi, and the operator obviously accredited and OHS focused. The interstate traveler is looking for an experience with a coach operator who will stay with the group and is knowledgeable of the area, whilst the intrastate traveler is looking for an operator with a local identity that can tell a good story.
These are mostly subtle style differences, but as the travelers come from further away, their demands on standards and their perception of “professional” becomes increasingly important.
Heather’s slides will develop these and how to engage with these markets more deeply.
Local Government – Its Developing Tourism Role
The LGA is starting to take a great interest in how tourism develops in the regions, having recognized the importance of tourism to local economies. Councils work through a number of networks to support tourism, including with Regional Development Australia and local visitor information centres. It is often a challenge to overcome parochial approaches to supporting tourism more broadly and effectively.
The recognition that the opportunity to develop better tourism support in the regions exists has been a very important step in helping councils identify how to invest in tourism as an economic driver. At this time, no individual entity can be seen as the custodian of tourism infrastructure, which means it often falls into the domain of local government.
Despite this, many councils are not aware of access challenges for tourism providers, and this is often because of the jurisdictional challenge – is it a State or Local Government issue? A collaboration between all players, from government through to industry and industry bodies, will help start the conversations that can address the challenges of delivering tourism in regions.
There is a push by the LGA to be more involved in tourism issues through entities like the SATC and other tourism entities so that the broader issues of how to deliver tourism in regions have a forum.
Greater Adelaide as a Tourism Destination
Adelaide City Council is working to match its tourism objectives to meet its vision for Adelaide: Adelaide is a smart, green, liveable boutique city full of rich experiences.
The key outcomes the ACC is pursuing, in line with SATC goals, are to increase bed nights in the city to 9 million by 2020, and achieve 12.3 million by 2040.
The ACC have set goals in 4 areas:
- Promote the Adelaide Experience
- Collaborate and work better together
- Enhance offering and tourism infrastructure
- Lead and support industry
Key to the visitor experience is how they gather information about their destination – and over 11,8000 travelers visited the Adelaide Visitor Information Centre (VIC) in 2014.(15, 31% from interstate and 48% from overseas).
These inquiries are often about seeking directions, but the VIC also provides information on events, accommodation, attractions, festivals, transport and tours. Staff hand out itineraries, lists of activities, advice on apps, websites and maps.
These types of inquiries indicate there are many opportunities to package products and experiences, and help link metropolitan areas and their experiences. To enhance the experience for travelers and to promote business, the ACC recommends that operators supply brochures to the VIC, sign up to their newsletter, add to the “What’s On” Calendar, and be in the Australian Tourism Database Warehouse (ATDW).
South Australian Tourism Commission
The SATC has 5 priority action areas:
- Drive demand
- Working better together
- Increasing the recognition of the value of tourism
- Using Events to drive visitation
- Supporting what we have
SATC is trying to attract high yield visitors from NSW, Vic and Qld, along with internationals, who have interest in key experiences around food and wine, clean beaches and the outback. Kangaroo Island is an important attraction, along with other fauna, both land and marine. The Events strategy builds on events like the Clipsal 500 and Arts Festivals, driving visitors to the state.
For operators it is very important to be involved with local tourism associations, and use the resources available to develop a very clear plan. The SATC has resources available on their website including fact sheets that cover a wide variety of useful topics such as how to use social media, creating a tourism package and working with the SATC. There are also regional tourism reports available.
It is also important to be on the Australia Tourism Data Warehouse, as this is the central point for all tourism products across Australia and facilitates the publication of your products.