Well, 2019 certainly got off to a ripper start with our annual Visitor Economy Forum at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Tuesday 26 February. We promised that the event would be a superlative information sharing session that would arm attendees with great insights and intel to influence your market activities for the year ahead – and it certainly delivered. There were take outs for everyone that stretched across domestic, international and the business events arenas. We were also thrilled to welcome our new Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, the Hon Martin Pakula MP, as he made his first official address to our industry. His passion for the visitor economy and the important role we play in driving the economic future for the State was clearly on display.
At the Forum on Tuesday, I presented to the 550(+) industry that shared the day with us the next 3-year direction we are proposing for VTIC and how the insights and engagement with our members has shaped our future strategy. The responses received so far from the post-survey we sent out has been overwhelmingly positive and the conversations I have had over the last couple days have indicated strong endorsement for what we are looking to achieve on your behalf. I will look forward to sharing this direction with many of you as we engage at various other events we’re planning for the coming weeks and months.
On Friday evening, a 70-strong contingent of Victorian operators will be travelling to Launceston in Tasmania to contest against the best of the best in tourism products and experiences at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards. I know that we all be barracking for a stellar result in Tassie and look forward to celebrating with all our Gold, Silver and Bronze winners on their return home.
Lastly, I was thrilled to announce on Tuesday that we have selected the venues to host our VIC Tourism Conference for 2019 and the 2019 Visitor Information Services Summit.
This year, following a very competitive process to select our host destination, our annual VIC Tourism Conference is coming to Geelong on Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 July. The newly renovated GMHBA Stadium will play host to the event this year and the whole town of Geelong will come together to welcome our delegates in a big way. MARK YOUR DIARIES so you won’t’ be disappointed this year …. remembering last year we SOLD OUT weeks ahead of the event.
I’m also pleased to announce that our VIS Summit will be hosted this year at Holmesglen at Eildon and is supported by our friends at Murrindindi Shire. The event will take place from Wednesday 21 to Friday 23 August with a spectacular line-up of not-to-be-missed activities for our delegates this year. Again, MARK THOSE DIARIES.
2019 will be a big year for VTIC and we are looking forward to working closely with you, our members, to achieve even greater results for growing the influence of our sector.