Keeping the bush in the game: New approaches to making regional tourism more competitive

Keeping the bush in the game: New approaches to making regional tourism more competitive Report

  • Author(s): Tourism Task Force Ltd,
  • Published: 2002
  • Publisher: Tourism Task Force Ltd.

Abstract: Tourism is a competitive industry. Countries compete with other countries to attract overseas visitors. Regions within Australia compete with other similar regions to attract visitors. In fact regional Australia has not only overseas destinations and other regional Australian destinations to compete with, but also capital cities. This report identifies critical success factors, at the local level, that promise to lift the performance of regional Australia. It considers a number of key questions outlined to the left.

Notes: This report is a summary of the Tourism Task Force (TTF) 2002 Hallmark Report. The TTF is Australia's peak national industry group, representing chief executives of the 200 most prestigious investors, operators, and regulators in Australia's tourism, transport and leisure industries. Why is strength in the region so important to regional operators? From (pp.7-8)...Regional Australia relies on having a high rate of repeat visitation. It is important, therefore, that visitors are satisfied with the tourism experience so they have an intention to return and also provide positive word-of-mouth recommendations to their friends, colleagues and relatives. However, the level of satisfaction, and consequently the intention to return and/or make positive word-of-mouth recommendations, can be let down by the weakest link. This weakest link may be accommodation. Regional tourism should have as its motto - "All for One" From (pp.8-9)...The future performance of a tourism business in regional Australia depends not only on the quality and performance of the individual business but also on the quality and performance of the overall region. Even a very well-run business in a poorly performing region will commonly only have mediocre investor returns. Regional tourism businesses need to recognise that their investment return is highly influenced by the performance of their tourism region as a whole. The report highlights four key facets of regional tourism success: structure, infrastructure, standards and promotion. Structure In terms of the structure of regional tourism, the report deals with a number of best practice issues that are important for successful regional tourism. For destinations to be successful it is important that they have an effective Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) and, for some destinations, effective Local Tourism Organisations (LTOs) as well. It is also important that they have the support of local government, the State Tourism Organisation (STO) and have the ability to access funds from local, State and Commonwealth governments, and the support of the private sector in terms of investment. From the case studies, it was clear that RTOs and LTOs could benefit greatly from education and training in recent trends in corporate governance of such bodies. This would provide an impetus for representatives of the region to see the region as an integrated business rather than a collection of operators working disparately. Corporate governance issues pose real problems in ensuring best practice performance from RTOs. At a simple level, it is tempting for each private sector RTO participant to tilt RTO strategies to directly favour their business. At the same time, local government representatives are tempted to push tourism growth toward their part of the region. Training and monitoring of corporate governance would provide a vehicle for RTOs and LTOs to review their membership structures. Best practice regional tourism has a structure where: Decision makers recognise the economic contribution of tourism to the region; The local community and local government support the development of tourism; Strong regional and local tourism organisations encourage active operator involvement;Leadership within the region encourages a strong sense of cooperation among operators; The performance of the region is effectively monitored; A realistic tourism development plan addressing infrastructure and standards as well as promotion, is being implemented. Moving towards best practice in terms of structure means: (i) seeing the region as a business and fostering an "All for One" mentality; (ii)adopting current trends in corporate governance Improved monitoring of regional performance; and (ii) monitoring the performance of other regions to assess competitiveness.

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Suggested Citation
Tourism Task Force Ltd,, 2002, Keeping the bush in the game: New approaches to making regional tourism more competitive, Report, viewed 13 August 2022,

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