Tourism leaders from across the state gathered at VTIC’s inaugural Policy Summit last week to help set the agenda for VTIC’s policy and advocacy work in 2012. The need for better facilitation of private sector investment and a more flexible industrial relations framework, as well as the business impacts of the pending carbon tax, were high on the agenda.
Facilitated by Professor Alison Morrison, Head of the School of International Business at Victoria University and Professor Brian King, Professor of Tourism Management at Victoria University, the summit attracted 60 tourism business managers and stakeholders from a broad cross-section of the industry.
Other key topics discussed at the event included:
- planning regulations and the constraints that current legislation impose on tourism development
- the need for a state-wide integrated tourism transport strategy that considers visitors as key users, incorporates a ticketing solution across all transport modes and includes regional Victoria as well as Melbourne
- labour and skills shortages and the impacts of current visa programs on international students and working holiday makers.
Based on delegate feedback VTIC will establish the top five state-wide issues for the industry, as well as the top three priorities in each of its policy sectors: Accommodation, Attractions, Events, Destinations, Tour & Transport and Tourism Services & Hospitality. These will be shape the key messages to government at all levels, as well as the wider community.
VTIC is already working to address some of the transport-related topics, hosting a special industry briefing with Metlink on Wednesday 8 March at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. Members have a further opportunity to raise their concerns with government MPs at the 26 March MPs 4 Tourism function at the Grand Hyatt.
The Policy Summit received regional coverage via WIN TV, whose representatives attended and interviewed VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith, Grampians Tourism CEO Will Flamsteed and Terry Smit, director of Go West Tours.