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Are we a destination or do we have the ability to become one?

Posted on November 20th, 2019 in Blog

Ahead of her presentation at The Business of Events 2020, Linda Tillman, CEO, Tilma Group shares her blog series exploring critical questions and actions affecting council and events and tourism destinations.

“Linda Tillman of regional tourism consultancy Tilma Group and Ali Uren of learning and development service Kiikstart are exploring approaches to three key questions that are impacting local governments across regional Australia in a series of three blogs:

  1. What is the role of local government in a modern and changing tourism industry?
  2. Are we a destination or do we have the ability become one?
  3. Do we have the capacity, commitment and resources to realise our human potential?

Are we a destination or do we have the ability to become one?

Not every town or region is a destination. Some are thoroughfares or ‘tea and wee’ stops and others are business hubs…and that’s ok!

The important thing is that you know which one you are.

Do you know your destination story, and does it connect with your current and emerging markets?

Have you got the skill and expertise needed to become a destination, and if not, can you secure what you need to become one? Be honest about your current situation and the commitment and resources required to make the changes necessary for becoming a destination.

Marketing alone will not save your region if the other pillars of your local tourism industry are not in order and working effectively

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A key step is to undertake a regional risk assessment that looks at all aspects of a region’s ability to deliver as a destination.

A regional tourism risk assessment is the most vital step before committing to a full-blown tourism plan as it will allow you to see where the skill gaps, risks and threats are, and create a focus for finding solutions.

Undertaking the initial risk assessment allows you to also identify untapped opportunities across the region that you had not previously considered.

Key areas to consider within the creation of this regional tourism risk assessment includes:

  • Identifying the risks and threats in detail.
  • Understanding why the risks and threats exist – what is the root cause of each risk?
  • The likelihood of the risks causing damage and loss to the region and its people.
  • The consequence to the region and its people if the risk becomes a reality.
  • The actions and control measures that can either eliminate or minimise the risk and threat.
  • Who is responsible for taking the actions.
  • Timeframes for taking actions.
  • How is success measured? How do you know you are pulling in the right direction to achieve the desired outcome?

When you get to the planning and implementation stage it is too late to consider this piece of work, plus you have lost time and money and found yourself in unnecessary frustration. Ali from Kiikstart has been working through this with the management of Birdsville Hotel in preparation for major events such as the Big Red Bash and the Birdsville Races. This process has allowed the hotel to eliminate some risks completely and reduce the impact of others.”

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