Minister Speirs has expressed his support for the tourism agenda, telling operators that ‘we have your back’ at the Nature-based Tourism Industry Business breakfast, one of the featured events at last week’s SA Tourism Conference.
In addition to the Minister, more than 20 DEW staff including eight rangers and regional staff attended the conference.
Several staff also presented ecotourism workshops on a range of topics, including:
- Access for all (internal access only): Understanding the opportunity for accessible tourism in South Australia. Presented by Clair Crowley from Push Adventures and Senior Project Officer Yvette Eglinton.
- Flaunt your assets: Positioning yourself for the new nature tourism movement through ecotourism. Lina Cronin from Ecotourism Australia and Michele Bain, owner of Yondah Beach House on the Yorke Peninsula, presented on what it takes to align a business with Tourism Australia’s nature focus and meet the needs of increasingly savvy and eco-conscious travellers.
- Making the nature connection: Enhancing your guests’ experiences in SA national parks. Presented by Senior Policy Officer Brett Simes and commercial tour operator and founder of Escapegoat mountain bike tours Ian Fehler. Facilitated by Nature-based Tourism Coordinator Meg Barker, this panel discussion explored how tourism operators can create exceptional experiences in national parks and reserves.
The DEW-sponsored workshops were well attended and reinforced the department’s commitment to the nature-based tourism agenda.
Staff members reported that the conference was an excellent development opportunity and also provided a chance to network with a range of tourism-related businesses and people, including The Hon David Ridgway, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.
Naracoorte and Tantanoola Caves Manager Nick McIntyre reflected on what the conference meant to him.
‘Following the conference, I’ll aim to work closer with regional partners, use information differently to understand the market segments and target those areas, focus on working with local providers to hold more events and attract interstate/overseas visitors so that we can grow economic returns and jobs in the region,’ Nick said.
‘It was great to hear that regions are viewed as having high potential to take tourism expenditure to the next level.’
Yvette added, ‘I really enjoyed the ‘Failing Forward’ talk by Kristian Livolsi. It encouraged me to want to keep pushing with access in parks, as I feel that is my purpose in the department.’
The conference was sponsored by DEW and hosted by the SA Tourism Industry Council.
For more information contact Nature-based Tourism Project Officer Angela Breeding.