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ARTN campaigns for recognition for regional tourism
With its annual conference due to commence on Monday (19th October) the Australian Regional Tourism Network (ARTN) is continuing to promote the importance of tourism in regional Australia.
Excluded from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Economic Summit held at the beginning of the month ARTN Chair David Sheldon highlighted the challenges facing regional tourism, stating “we in regional Australia continue to operate at a disadvantage to the urban areas with the lack of key support infrastructure such as connectivity to the commercial world.
“Visitors don’t understand why they can’t have the same connectivity for undertaking both economic and social engagement as they do in cities. And as for business - just try and do the online banking.
“Other challenges facing regional tourism are local and regional infrastructure, dispersal, incentives to reinvest, encouragements to innovate with new product, the emergence of the shared economy, seasonal employment, training and development and the obvious issue of penalty rates."
“This government must realise that for businesses and communities to develop economically and build a social fabric in regional areas, changes need to be made.”
“I encourage the Prime Minister to demonstrate his awareness of regional tourism and engage as our Network has an open door policy”, concluded Mr Sheldon.
Sheldon has enjoyed more success in being heard in NSW, recently fronting a Destination NSW review
He said the industry needs an overhaul and while many councils provide funding towards local tourism initiatives, they do not integrate it into their forward plans.
Sheldon said Margaret River in Western Australia is an example of where tourism has become a community project.
Sheldon explained “it is more than marketing, it's about bringing the community together.
"What we've done and what we've witnessed in the past with RTOs or LTAs, we've got a group of likeminded individuals that have gone on their merry way and they haven't taken the whole community on their merry way with them."
Recognition for regional tourism will be a key topic at the ARTN annual conference, being held in Victor Harbor, South Australia from Monday 19th to Thursday 22nd October.
Another key topic on the opening day of the conference will explore Tourism and The Sharing Economy.
The ARTN is a not for profit national membership body representing tourism in regional Australia.
Click here to view details of the ARTN Conference in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.
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