The Future of Australia’s Regional Tourism / ABC FNQ

img-20161024-wa0017Live from the ARTN conference in Roma Queensland and just before I jumped on stage to deliver the opening keynote for the Australian Regional Tourism Network’s national conference, I caught up with ABC Far North’s Kier Shorey to look at the Future of Australia’s Regional Tourism and the many changes awaiting them.

Globally travellers will rise from 25 million in 1950, to 1.087 million in 2013 to 1.8 billion international in 2030 accounting for 1 in every 11 years jobs globally, 6% of all world exports and 29% of all service exports.

On the back of this tremendous global growth, regional tourism is also set to rise and I argued is in an incredibly unique position, one that it hasn’t been in before, where the tyranny of distance that once stopped tourists visiting is now the very thing that drags them there and the past real physical isolation experienced by operators and limited access to resources are now being overcome by digital era opportunities and resources.

My keynote went on to explore this new travel, hospitality and tourism phenomenon, the growth in millennial tourists who were looking beyond traditional travel to volunteer travel, mystery travel, educational travel, extended stays, and unique places where they can work and play and the growth in the over 50’s market who are traveling in vastly different ways to their predecessors and looking for multi-generational travel, genealogical travel, soft adventures, back to nature experiences, bucket list travel and health and wellness travel.

Added to this is the growing digital tourism market that will evolve, with virtual travel soon to be a huge new tourism sector as people choose to jump into a holodeck or a set of Virtual Reality goggles and briefly experience a virtual short stay holiday.

In this evolving space and changing traveler, we explored the rise of the dynamic self assembling personalised itinerary, the increasing rise and of use of chat bots, robots, digital visualisation and other anticipatory technologies that will allow each traveler to easily and readily customise their experience in real-time and whilst on location.

To take real advantage of this evolving world of travel collaboration will become ever more imperative and the secret to tomorrow’s regional success, will be in distinct businesses, providers, sites and operators working as one, allowing travellers to move effortlessly from one experience to the next, seeing the best of a region, its offerings and operators through a myriad of activities, stays and interactions, all stitched together and orchestrated by technology but offered by “humans” with true local wisdom, stories and passion.

Also in our broadcast we were lucky enough to be joined by two finalists in this year’s Young Regional Tourism Operators Awards – Hannah Payer of Live It Tours on the Sunshine Coast and Rachel Anderson of Wagga Wagga City Council who both chatted about their vision and desires of regional tourism in 2030.

A great chat, have a listen now (20 minutes 39 seconds)

Eye on the Future - Oct 25, 2016 | All, Radio Interview, tourism
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