In a constantly changing world, to stand out, you have to be true to yourself.
Authenticity is key as a new generation of travelers research more than 20 cities in 20 days from the back of the bus.
It is no longer enough to have a fabulous landscape…. millions of places around the world have great scenery.
The secret is to be a great destination – to create experiences that last a lifetime in the memory of those who have had them.
Speaking at the Sunshine Coast Business Council forum on the 2032 Brisbane Olympics and Paralympics, Urbis Director Kate Meyrick explored how best to activate a vibrant tourism region.
Ms Meyrick said it is beneficial to go back to where we came from and find out the real story of where we come from in order to decide where we want to go.
“It’s about knowing how to go from good to great.
“Don’t fixate on 2032 but use it as a springboard for the next 20, 30, 40 or 50 years.
“Build and amplify what we have. Light our first opportunity.
“Tourism will grow twice as fast as GDP. We have a lot to look forward to.
Ms Meyrick said it was important to understand what was happening, so that we could reset the tourism industry for the future.
It’s about asking how can we use this moment when the world is focusing on Queensland to the greatest advantage.
The first question is what is it like to be on vacation, with the changes in the world over the past two years or more.
How have aspirations changed?
“The emerging trend is to be a slow tourist,” Ms. Meryck said, “…someone who wants to understand the culture of the peoples you are visiting.
“The people you meet along the way become more important.
“It’s the little moments in between that create these experiences.
“Be the best version of yourself, but stay realistic.
“People need to fall in love with you.
“It’s a sweet seduction. The slow process of getting to know you.
There is an increase in solo travelers – even Gray Nomads who may not have a partner.
It’s not just where we stay and go, but how we get there.
We have to adapt accordingly.
We have electric vehicle (EV) planes.
Tourism is taking on a lighter edge – people are more respectful and want to be protective rather than exploitative.
They are looking for cultural tourism.
Look at our assets and our attractions… the food and the art, people want to borrow and be a part of it.
Staycation… people choose to stay close to home. How did we differentiate between affordable and luxury.
Don’t make assumptions about the perceptions visitors may have. Instead, embark on a journey of epic ambition – one of surprise, delight and discovery of the Sunshine Coast.
Bringing locals to visit.
Celebrate our history. Key platforms must be genuine.
Showcase the extraordinary landscape…create experiences and memories around it.
We have an incredible heritage history that dates back thousands of years.
There are the native legends of the creation of the mountains, the rivers and the ocean.
How can create history as well as history.
The new frontier: VR, VE. Organize the whole experience.
Watch events such as Sydney’s Vivid or Bondi’s Sculptures by the Sea.
Building the created world with the natural world.
Tourism is inclusive, it is for everyone.
What would I advise, lessons learned.
There is always a way to improve. It is not a question of positioning oneself for a few weeks in 2032 but for the future.
The places locals love are what tourists will love.
It is a coastal and creative community. Amplify that without destroying it.
Let’s create a unique visitor experience.
Ask if we build a call with each decision.
Do we need to start by understanding what we really stand for. Natural attraction, human capital.
Business, staycation, slow traveler – their experiences, their interests.
The underlying question is: what do they or do we want them to watch what we want.
Are we competing with ourselves instead of other areas.
London: People travel further when hosts work as a team.
Look at you… sun, sand and landscape. A million places have this, but it’s not just that – it’s what we make of it.
Competitive advantages must be built to raise funds to move in the right direction.
It’s everyone in the area. Make visitors feel at home.
Whether you’re serving coffee or changing the lights and plumbing in an apartment. Be the best version of yourself… the most authentic.
Don’t try to go against the grain or you might miss it.
Understand what you have and protect it.
Experience – artists, cooks, athletes are all part of it.
Noosa Tri as important as Australia Zoo.
Connectivity…whether it’s walking, cycling or scooters, if we can’t get around the area we will fail. It is necessary to decongest, more quickly more ecologically.
People need to fall in love with you.
It is a sweet seduction. The slow process of getting to know you.
Digital and physical prints.
The more special events, the faster you will travel.