A message from outgoing Chief Executive, Dianne Smith
Happy World Tourism Day. In honour of this celebration, the September edition of the VTIC eNews has come a little earlier this month, and we hope that this year’s theme, Tourism for All – promoting universal accessibility resonates with you, as it does with VTIC.
Spring is an eventful time, and a time of change.
We received positive feedback from industry surrounding our recent MPs4Tourism breakfast event, where VTIC hosted fourteen State Government MPs and more than one hundred delegates. We were thrilled to see our members making connections, and to hear the buzz of productive and lively conversations taking place around the room.
The breakfast gave us an opportunity to acknowledge the overall sector growth, as well as reinforce and remind our government colleagues that we have unfinished business, and areas needing improvement for the visitor economy. If we are to fully realise our potential, policy challenges must be addressed, and this can only be done with industry and State Government working in partnership.
Earlier this month, we were honoured to host the Tourism Legends Luncheon with William Angliss Institute. This event welcomes past Victorian Tourism Award winners of the Outstanding Contribution by an Individual (OCBI) category, and VTIC Life Members who have demonstrated a high degree of commitment to shaping the industry. Specifically, it was wonderful to have the company of the 1991 OCBI recipient, Geoff McGeary, founder of APT, and true industry legend.
VTIC is proud to deliver the upcoming RACV Victorian Tourism Awards on November 24, as an industry awards program run by industry for industry. Please book your seats now, as tickets are selling fast.
There has also, been a lot going on at VTIC HQ. As you may be aware, after five years as Chief Executive, I will be moving into a new role with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry as Executive Director – Melbourne Chamber of Commerce.
It’s hard not to be sentimental at this time, as tourism and events have, and will always be my passion. I am intensely proud of Victorian tourism, and have relished working closely with operators going back to 1994, when I was at Melbourne Zoo, and on the Board of the Victorian Tourism Operators Association (a predecessor of VTIC). It has also been a privilege to work with the high-calibre VTIC board, and to represent the operators who are so enthusiastic about, and collegiate within our sector.
In 2012, I was fortunate to be on the Premier’s mission to China. During this trip, I travelled with several dynamic people, including John Forman of Red Rock Leisure, a passionate advocate for Chinese New Year, and Melbourne Convention Bureau’s Karen Bolinger, who is unrelenting in her pursuit of business events for Melbourne. And Jeremy Johnson invited me to the opening of Sovereign Hill’s dedicated sales office in Shanghai; an Australian first. This was just one trip of many over the years in which Victorian tourism provided me with so many reasons to feel proud of my home-state.
I honour the vision of the VTIC founders, and thank you for creating and guiding such an important organisation, which assists, and is able to speak independently on behalf of, tourism and event operators across the state.
Finally, I want to salute my team. I’m so proud of the growth of VTIC, which is due to the nature of our creative and effective team members, both present and past. I think they’re wonderful and thank them sincerely for their dedication and support.
Please continue the support for the ‘one voice’ you have in VTIC.