I went to Melbourne last Friday and attended the Victoria Tourism Conference this Monday and Tuesday. Last two days were great experiences for me, no matter for my trip or my ideas about the tourism.
Melbourne is a big city and really international. There are so many Chinese here and Chinese has higher social levels compared with the Chinese in U.S. Australian Tourism focuses on the opportunities of Chinese market and many of them has taken it as their future development goals.
I visited the city of Melbourne, Royal Botanical Gardens and Shrine of Remembrance. Currently, Shrine of Remembrance is exhibiting the collection of World War One & Two. The collections remind me how peace is hard won and there are still many people living in war and facing death everyday. Also, thanks to those great soldiers.
Go back to 2-day conference. Victoria Tourism Conference focuses on the tourism industry in Victoria, especially in Melbourne, which gives a great opportunity and platform for them to increase the cooperation and development between businesses, share the information and face the future together. There are plenty of tourism products in Melbourne. Tourism definitely will bring more job opportunities in future. “Tourism is connected with, and needs a strong voice in other sectors”, which reminds me to think about the System Thinking we learned from our class. Each part in tourism industry should be work together, at the same time, improve themselves, to make whole system stronger and healthy. “Learns together, earns together”.
There were 2 days about the conference. The first day can be summarized as “Social Media”. Mark Pesce showed us the power of Social Media. There is no doubt that the power of digital world and Internet is incredible, which plays an important role in tourism industry. There is a huge increase about smartphone in last couple years and 80% adults will own smartphones in 2020. So how tourism industry supports visitors. Mark gave us a great point, “people want to connect, sharing their needs and interests, learning from one another and putting what they have learned to work”. From UBER, Facebook, Alibaba to current popular one, Airbnb, there are so many digital platforms for tourists to share their experiences and information to others. As a business, it should think about
- What’s your sharing strategy?—-choose your appropriate customers
- How are you listening to your customers?
- How are you responding to your customers?—-cultural aspects—international/ individual difference
- Do others know you listen and respond
- What of the conversations about your business
- Do you know where they are taking place
He suggested that it might be a good way that businesses work together and create an app for sharing, which reminds me think about a picture I saw in museum, “Open and Work together—Co-operation is better than conflict”.
Tourism in Australia is much more popular in the world. Some certain areas lead in the world, such as food and wines. Meanwhile, it also focuses on Luxury market of tourism.
I found a great business in Day one’s lectures. Intrepid Group, which focuses on small group tourists traveling developing countries, closing to locals, living with locals, enjoying authentic experience. At the same time, they offer the chance to their visitors to join in many projects, such as helping locals, connecting with local communities, animal protection. Geoff Manchester showed us an great example about their organization. There are many inappropriate elephant trainings in India. Intrepid Group works on animal protection that will gradually help locals find other job opportunities and also help elephants find their suitable jobs.
There was a great lecture presented by Star Rating Australia. The Old Focus of Marketing is Products, promotion, price and place. But now, it has changed over. The Secret to Success Today: 4 E’s— experience, evangelism, exchange and everyplace. The Reputation of a tourism business (Guest Satisfaction) is the Revenue. So tourism business cannot neglect the power of online review.
In Day one, there was another thought-provoking lecture that highlighted the accessibility of disable tourists, which reminds me the first blog of Marcela, she mentioned UNWTO also focuses on disable people, elders, baby generations. Great infrastructures make tourism visitability for everyone.
Day 2 was kind of boring for me, so many professional business and politic stuff, which made me want to sleep. But the first two lectures were so awesome. The first one was presented by the marketing director of Tourism Victoria. The speaker was so powerful and her speech was so attractive. She mentioned the power of social media. She also highlighted the strong growing up of Airbnb. Actually, many businesses noticed the competition from Airbnb, especially for hotels.
Another great lecture showed the skills of communication with tourists, Storytelling, which reminded me to think about our Communication class. The speaker said tourists always remember the pleasure times–peak moments in their trips. I remember I have learned that in Global Tourism class. I am so happy there are so many things we have learned from our class. I asked him how many facts we should put into the story and our audience are various, how our story can cover the different age and gender, make it effect. He answered me we can start a big and board story and then go specific and small stories according to tourists’ needs. We would’t like all of our stories are data and numbers. As for the types of story, there are always several themes that can cover and attract almost ages, such as death, love and power.
This conference totally focuses on business and lack of sustainability. It seems like, as for businesses, money always cover everything. But according to the new information that Marcela brought us from UN, sustainability definitely will grow up quickly.
The last day in Melbourne I visited the National Gallery of Victoria, many gardens, Royal Exhibition Buildings and Parliament buildings. I am so proud of historical Chinese culture, powerful, unique and impressive. Royal Exhibition Buildings are World Heritage and they did many improvements to make it more sustainable, such as rainwater collection.
There was a funny experience. When I got to the Parliament buildings, I have no idea what it is cause I didn’t know the word “Parliament”. I missed last tour. After the security lady knew I will leave Melbourne tomorrow, she told me a great idea, borrowed the toilet, which i had a chance to see a little bit inside. After that short visiting, i checked that word and suddenly realize I just went to an important place. Thanks to that nice lady !!!
I will go back to Brisbane tomorrow and there will be only two weeks of my internship left. Hopefully everything will be great !!!