Gems from the 2016 SA Tourism Industry Conference

Linda Schubert and I were fortunate to attend the 2016 SATIC Tourism Conference last week at the Hilton International.

Fair to say no one in the SA tourism industry has forgotten our “Very Irish Person”, as Linda has been involved in tourism on Eyre Peninsula for over 25 years. Linda was remembered by people she couldn’t even remember! 😉

All in all it was an inspiring day of networking, reacquainting with old friends and industry colleagues, and learnings. Congratulations to Shaun de Bruyn and the team at SATIC on a great day.

What did we learn?

We learnt a lot!

One of the most inspiring speakers of the day for us was Alla Wolf-Tasker from The Lakehouse in Daylesford, Victoria. As a young mother, this powerhouse of a woman took a blackberry infested paddock next to a swamp in a dying township, with low employment, and no real industry … and with sheer passion, determination and an unshakeable vision, created a thriving tourism and boutique food industry for the community of Daylesford.

Her business, The Lakehouse, is now regarded as one of the world’s best boutique hotels.

With a focus on the best fresh regional produce and impeccable service, The Lakehouse has grown to encompass dining rooms including catering for functions and events, wine cellars, cooking masterclasses, boutique accommodation and spa facilities. As Alla said, if she did her market research beforehand (and listened to her mother, the council and others), she would never have done it.

What do you think?

Is sheer drive, passion and determination enough to make the (seemingly) impossible work?

“… if you have access to good farmers markets and can actually eyeball the grower – then even better. Mind you there will always be specialty produce from further afield that as a chef I want to use – and I do. Peerless products such as seafood from around the Eyre Peninsula for example.” ~ Alla Wolf-Tasker

New branding for South Australian Tourism

No doubt you will hear more about this, but Brent Hill, Director of Marketing from SA Tourism Commission, seems to be shaking things up with some changes to the brand including a new font for marketing the state and a new approach to imagery, with a more up close and personal style.

I’m also liking the Brand Manifesto best summarised as “living like a local”. Authentic tourism experiences have been in demand for a long time now.

  • You don’t just visit SA, you really get to know it.
  • You don’t just meet the locals, you end up in a pub filled with characters swapping tales and learning their town’s rich history.
  • You don’t just catch a glimpse of the wildlife, they’re friendly guests at your campsite while you enjoy morning tea.
  • You don’t just tour a wine region, you spend an afternoon sharing a glass with person who brought its flavours to life.
  • You don’t just take in the culture, you feel our creative soul come to life at the Fringe Festival and our acclaimed art galleries.
  • Because when you come to SA you get up close and personal in every little way.

Does your product or region provide a “live like a local” tourism experience?

“You don’t just go on a tour with Goin’ Off Safaris, you become part of the Doudle family, share amazing home prepared local seafood feasts and enjoy genuine Eyre Peninsula hospitality.”

How will you frame your business using the new brand manifesto?

Leave a comment below and let us know!

I’ll leave the last word to Linda, who says …

“I think the theme that ran through the entire conference was the importance of good service. I personally felt that we have almost done a full circle in many industries from being anonymous – booking online, speaking to no one etc – to wanting a face behind each accommodation house, tour etc.

I also thought the debate on the sharing economy (i.e. Airbnb and Uber vs the hotel industry and taxis) was quite interesting. Eoin Loftus from Majestic Hotels commented that he had to get his head around how he could provide a personal service that people wanted on Airbnb (the sharing economy is seen an opportunity to humanise business) that would convert into bookings. It’s interesting to note that many accommodation providers are now using Airbnb as another channel through which to sell their product.

I also honestly thought that anywhere we went in Adelaide over the past few days—pretty much without exception—tried so hard with service and in most cases did very well. I believe there was a time where we (as a tourism industry) got complacent.

For me the key message is service. Deliver what you advertise, have a point of difference and think outside the square.”

What do you think? Join the conversation below or share on your favourite social media channel.

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