The recent Queensland floods have not helped a tourism industry struggling through an already dramatic downturn - but operators are being urged to rebuild strategically.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) wants tourism businesses to rebuild by evaluating their products and keeping pace with changes demanded by domestic and international visitors. To assist, QTIC has created a state-wide Reshaping Queensland's Tourism Landscape program starting in Brisbane on February 19.
QTIC chief executive Daniel Gschwind said many operators would now be entering another rebuilding phase following on from recent weather disasters, but whether or not they were directly affected, businesses could never stay stagnant.
"The tourism industry signed up to the Queensland Government's DestinationQ partnership agreement with the goal of doubling visitor expenditure by 2020," Mr Gschwind said.
"QTIC believes to achieve this goal, the industry needs to constantly review its products and make customer-focused decisions to maintain successful business growth into the future.
"It is essential for tourism operators to renew their products and services if they want Queensland to be the number one tourism destination in Australia," Mr Gschwind said.
"QTIC is pleased to see many tourism operators are maintaining the momentum of post-flood efforts by repositioning themselves to remain viable.
"However, many more need to embrace a new way of thinking despite their fear about making business changes. It's time for Queensland tourism operators to get serious about better management of the overall tourism experience."
He said QTIC's state-wide business program, Reshaping Queensland's Tourism Landscape, provides tourism operators with tailor-made training, product analysis and quality service assessment.
Brisbane tourism operators are invited to register for the Brisbane Reshaping Queensland's Tourism Landscape program to be held on Tuesday, February 19.
The Reshaping program provides businesses with an opportunity to put into operation Tourism and Events Queensland's Hero Experience activity, developed in partnership with Regional Tourism Organisations.
The Hero Experience activity is supported by the State Government's $20 million Tourism Investment Strategy to support destination marketing and development. The project works to identify a suite of unique tourism selling points for Queensland destinations which can be used to guide marketing strategies, product development and renewal.
Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey agreed with QTIC's assessment that operators need to be prepared to adapt to change in order to meet visitor expectations.
"Many travellers have embraced new technology to the point where they have become almost totally reliant on it and as an industry we need to provide new options to avoid alienating a significant and growing share of the available marke," Ms Stuckey said.
"I would encourage all operators, where possible, to participate in the Reshaping Queensland's Tourism Landscape program."
The Reshaping Queensland's Tourism Landscape business development program costs $640 and includes a full-day facilitated session, combined with three hours of commercial-in-confidence coaching. The program can run in any location subject to a minimum of five attendees, according to Mr Gschwind.
Registrations for business development sessions (held in addition to the February 19 program in Brisbane) must be confirmed by the end of February 2013 and training sessions need to be undertaken before May 2013.
The program is subsidised by Skills Queensland's Strategic Investment Fund to support skills and workforce development.
QTIC is the state's peak body for tourism. The council is a not-for-profit membership organisation representing more than 3,000 regional members, operating in all sectors of the tourism industry.
Tel: (07) 3236 1445