Tourism is all about working together as an industry to market a destination and I’m pleased to see more evidence of this as 2023 unfolds. Collaboration, networking and partnerships are key to maximising opportunities and stretching valuable marketing dollars even further in a very crowded global marketplace.
This month the Mareeba Shire Council and Mareeba Chamber of Commerce joined forces to launch a Local Tourism Organisation (LTO) to help grow visitation to their community. The Mareeba Shire LTO will be headed by Cr Lenore Wyatt with the support of Mareeba Chamber of Commerce President Joe Moro, Maria Nastasi who leads the Chamber’s tourism taskforce, Council’s Tourism and Economic Development Officer Jessica Fealy, Mareeba Heritage Centre Chair Nipper Brown and Kuranda Traders Association President Dei Gould.
Forming an LTO means the Mareeba Shire can capitalise on the work by TTNQ, Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Australia. LTOs can offer collaborative marketing opportunities to tourism operators and partner with TTNQ to leverage campaigns and seek matched funding opportunities for destination marketing of the Shire. Members of the LTO will be able to access TTNQ funding programs, industry development and assistance.
Last month TTNQ was in Cooktown to for our annual planning session with Cook Shire Council and the Cooktown Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. This is the third year of our partnership and Cook Shire is experiencing positive tourism growth with high-value travellers pushing bookings beyond the traditional winter season and substantial investment in existing product and new tourism experiences.
Regional dispersal has always been critical to boosting visitor spend in Tropical North Queensland and ensuring the many small businesses that operate in our smaller communities benefit from the visitor economy.
As we await international visitation to increase, TTNQ is very conscious of the importance of domestic travellers. With five consecutive quarterly records for domestic visitor spend in Tropical North Queensland culminating in $4 billion for the year ending September 2033 we need repeat visitation. Our regions and smaller communities offer endless opportunities for previous visitors to explore Tropical North Queensland more thoroughly.
Mareeba Shire has taken the first step and I encourage their tourism operators to be a part of the process by joining the Think Tank on 8 March to develop a 12-month destination marketing plan for the LTO to implement. This will be the first strategic planning step in growing tourism for the Mareeba Shire.
TTNQ is also devoting this month to planning and collaborating. This week we were part of the TEQ and Queensland Regional Tourism Network planning and insights session which was a great opportunity for the RTOs and TEQ to come together to obtain updates and contribute thinking towards the State’s strategic plans.
The TTNQ staff have held department planning days over the past month and this week the whole team will spend a day together strategising for the 2023-24 financial year and beyond. We are also surveying members to ensure we are meeting their needs and I encourage you to complete the survey by 7 March.
Chief Executive Officer
[Image: Mareeba Chamber of Commerce President Joe Moro, Cr Lenore Wyatt, TEQ Stakeholder and Industry Engagement Director Martina Neidig-Quinlan, TTNQ CEO Mark Olsen. Courtesy The Express.]