Tourism industry funds call

July 17, 2012

reprinted from Tasmania’s Mercury 18 July 2012
this excerpt comes after my keynote address on the Future of Tourism at Tourism Industry Council Tasmania’s annual conference

TASMANIA’S key tourism body has slammed the State Government for failing to provide adequate funding to promote the industry.

Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania chairman Simon Currant said more needed to be done to stop the decline in visitor numbers.

Mr Currant was speaking to more than 350 tourism operators at the seventh annual Tasmanian Tourism Conference, being held at the Country Club in Launceston today.

Tourism Minister Scott Bacon officially opened the conference this morning and said the State Government had “quarantined” Tourism Tasmania’s marketing funding from recent budget cuts.

But Mr Currant said it wasn’t enough.

“The forward estimates are reducing the expenditure of Tourism Tasmania this year and next year,” he said.

“This has to be arrested; the Government has to invest in this industry.”

Mr Currant said unless the State Government increased funding for the state’s peak tourism marketing body, there would be job losses in the industry.

He said this was despite the fact that Tasmania had a strong tourism product, as shown by five wins at the Australian Tourism Awards earlier this year.

“(The tourism industry) offers the answer for our state,” he said.

“We’ve got a natural asset here that everyone wants. We’ve got to tell people about it.”

But the state’s share of the national domestic tourism market was slipping.

Mr Currant said the number of visitors from Melbourne — traditionally Tasmania’s core visitor market — was dropping drastically.

Despite this, Mr Currant said operators should be “optimistic” about the future and invest in ways to improve the state’s tourism product.

Business futurist Morris Miselowski was the keynote speaker at the conference this morning.

He urged operators to harness the benefits of social media for their businesses.

Mr Miselowski said it was not enough for operators to rely solely on the marketing initiatives of Tourism Tasmania.

He said operators need to embrace new technologies and have a presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Pintrest and Tumblr.

TICT chief executive Luke Martin said the sites offered “unique and creative marketing options” for operators constrained by small advertising budgets.

“People have to be responsible for their own business and look at it as part of their own marketing activities,” Mr Martin said.

“It’s no different from the past where you look at buying an advertisement or paying for marketing information in a booklet.”

He said workshops at the conference aimed to lift the skills of operators across the industry.


July 17, 2012

The year 2100 is 88 years away and just as close as the year 1922. How far have we come in the last 88 years and how far might we travel in the next, that’s the discussion I had this morning with Belinda King of ABC Radio Northern Tasmania.

In 2100 we are projected to have a world population of between 10 billion and 15.9 billion people (United Nations projections).

How will we feed, water, clothe and house this huge population?

How long will we live? 120 -150 years plus?

How will we work? What will we do and how long will we work?

What will medicine offer us? Will we have tamed cancers, Alzheimer’s, MS?

Will we be routinely printing (aka bioprinting) spare body parts for ourselves?

So many questions raised, some hypothesis made, but what do you think the world will be like 88 years from now?

Have a listen now and let me know your predictions.

Vertical Farming

July 12, 2012

I recently had the privilege of presenting the keynote opening at Tasmania’s Farmers and Graziers Association conference, at which I challenged them to innovate beyond the physical land and ponder how they can use their wisdom and talent in other farm related endeavours.

Southern Cross News picked up on one of these ideas – Vertical Farming – and ran with it in their news bulletin.

whilst the Examiner ran this story in the their paper the next morning: