Week 6 and Week 7—Victoria Tourism Conference in Melbourne

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.

Shrine of Remembrance
Shrine of Remembrance

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.

Day 1 of Victoria Tourism Conference
Day 1 of Victoria Tourism Conference
Dinner
Dinner

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 Outside of NGV
The Outside of NGV
National Gallery Victoria
National Gallery Victoria
Chinese Exhibition
Chinese Exhibition
I am a artist :)
I am the artist 🙂

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.

Royal Exhibition Buildings
Royal Exhibition Buildings
Royal Exhibition Buildings---World Heritage
Royal Exhibition Buildings—World Heritage

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 !!!

Parliament House
Parliament House

I will go back to Brisbane tomorrow and there will be only two weeks of my internship left. Hopefully everything will be great !!!

Week 2 & Week 3 Changes

After the first week staying in the office, I tried to get used to my internship. Perhaps, that is the differences from school works. But I have to find some interesting for myself to transfer my attention from those offie works. I almost forgot the feeling of travel, to check out this world. My parents encouraged me to visit some places in Australia cause I am already here. So I went to Sydney last weekend. I felt the whole week was full of energy and the time went fast. I flew to Sydney Friday night and came back Brisbane on Sunday afternoon. I walked around the Sydney whole Saturday.

Sydney is so beautiful and I was suddenly attracted by this city. So many tourists around the world. The Sydney Bridge, Sydney Opera House, the whole Sydney Harbor, the Rocks area, combining historic and modern feelings. I found a place to live from Airbnb and my host’s girl friend is from China. She gave me many suggestions to arrange my short trip. I took a boat from Sydney Harbor to Manly Beach. Manly Beach is so beautiful and it is the Heaven of Surfing. I spent several hours walking around the Manly Beach. Many people worked out under the sunny day. I watched a show in Sydney Opera House Saturday night. It might be a great way to check out this amazing architecture. My trip was too short and there are so many places I did visit.

Sydney Harbor
Sydney Harbor
Manly Beach
Manly Beach

But when I came back from Sydney, I suddenly realized it seems like I have fell in love with Brisbane, healthy, quiet and Green. Sydney is great, absolutely, but it has the same characteristics that many metropolises have, lack of something fresh and new. That probably is the reason I am not crazy about it after the short trip.

Hyde Park
Hyde Park
Sydney Tower
Sydney Tower

Go back to my internship. I have helped the Ecotourism Australia finish the design of online application. Last two weeks, I was working on data and other Office works. I have started to write blogs for their websites and replied some of emails.

There was a challenge. In week 3, there were only two people in the office. I started to answer the phone. I’m used to be scared about answering the phone cause I was afraid that I may miss the information. But my colleague encouraged me and helped me a lot. I did many mistakes last week, but I also learned a lot, no matter for the office work, or the certification program.

I have registered the tourism conference in Melbourne next month. Hopefully I can learn more from those speakers. Also, next week, I am going to start my dance class. I have affected by this city and those healthy people. There are so many people work out directly after work.

I will explore more about this city and get more new experience.

First Week of My Internship

The past week was the first week of my internship. Also, it is the first week in my life to work not be a student. It is a little bit hard for me to change my role and environment. But I was really enjoyed it. I was wondering how could people work so hard and they still hanged out on weekends. For me, the first week is definitely so tired. Woke up early, caught up train and stayed in front of the computer whole days. I did a lot of walk everyday between the train station and home. And I noticed many people did the same thing. So I was thinking the design of a city might impact on people’s lifestyle. For example, many walkable street and great public transportation system could motive more people to walk to surroundings instead of driving. That may be a reason why people here looks so slim.

Anyway, go back to my internship. Ecotourism Australia is a small company but they are so professional and organized. The team members cooperate so well with each other. They are the partners in work and friends in life. Probably the best working environment.

Logos
Logos
Office
Office

The first day I did a lot of readings and tried to be familiar with this company. I am so surprised about their certification programs, much more impressive than I expected, compared with the Green Lodging program in Florida. Probably, they have a longer experience. There are many types of certification program, ECO certification, Respect Our Culture (ROC), Climate Action Certification and EcoGuide certification and EcoLodges of Australia. ECO, ROC and Climate Action are on one application.

Work Desk
Work Desk

ECO certification is based on nature products (they call certificated objects as products). There are three levels of certification and customers can upgrade according to their needs. Once getting the certification, they will get the re-audit a certain of time. Respect Our Culture focuses on cultural products. Also, I am so impressive that they take indigenous culture into their certification program. Climate Action that specifically focuses on climate emission, but there are some intersections with ECO certification. While EcoGuide certification is designed for guides. The whole process of certification is also organized ,strict and detailed.

Biodegradable plastics
Biodegradable plastics

Thanks to my internship supervisor cause she helped me a lot to familiar with the work and their company. I was helping EA create new websites for their future online application. I am very confident about WordPress now, really powerful tool. For next couple weeks, probably, I will still work on it and might join in the Climate Action certification project.

Some Interviews
Some Interviews
Met with Sara!!!  :)
Met with Sara!!! 🙂

I met Sara last weekend and because of her, I found a sense of belonging here. Also, Victor, his words inspire me a lot and make me stronger (probably he didn’t know how powerful his words are 🙂 ). Like he said, being alone is a great time to discover yourself and think about yourself. Of course, other classmates’ blogs are also a great way to encourage me.

BTW, I was lost again at the first day to work !!! Lost in Brisbane !!! 🙂

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Xiaomin

Brisbane, The City Surprises Me

Just arrived in Brisbane on June 4. Then I started to check out this city next day. My host is so awesome and friendly. His girlfriend is a Korean that makes me feel a kind of belonging (cause both of us are from the Asia).

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Recycle Bins

Brisbane has a very strong transportation system, public buses, trains, and a special one—ships. You can take any of them through one card. The public buses are on time, fast and popular, really convenient to connect many areas around the Brisbane.

The first thing surprised me was when I took the bus this morning, two families took their babies and got on the bus, all of the passengers sat on the priority seats were suddenly standing up and offer their seats to those two families. It looks consistent, fast and natural, which hardly find in China, or even in U.S. (Maybe it has, but I haven’t met yet). Almost passengers said “Thank you” to the drivers no matter for getting on or off the bus. Good behaviors have been shown from many details or small things. It might be a sign for this city has great education and culture that people have been trained so well.

The best way to feel and learn a city might be walking around without routines. I past the city center, people were dressed up and fashionable, no matter for males or females. I just feel they are so tell. I visited the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens. It was lunch time, many people followed the river to run or work out. That makes me notice people here look almost slim and healthy, from their bodies. Running or exercise is so popular here. Playing soccer, running, lying on the grass, which makes this city energetic.

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Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

I saw the mangroves around the Brisbane River. Big trees cover all most of the garden. Air is fresh. Everything looks peaceful and harmonious, just like my host said, it is a moderate city, no matter for its size or its design. Perhaps, that is the Brisbane’s enchantment.

Then I past the South Bank, a popular tourist attraction in Brisbane. Great design, green, fresh and harmonious between human beings and nature. Restaurants and bars are around this area, probably has great nightlifes here.

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Mangroves
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South Bank

I did not meet so many tourists, only couple of Chinese tourists. Most tourists might visit the Golden Coast. I was regarded as Korean that reminds me when I was in U.S., it was common to be regarded as Japanese, which might be a sign that Korean is popular in Brisbane (Another clue is food. Also, many Korean food here).

So many great impressions from this city and, of course, it gives me many surprises. Green, sustainable, healthy…

But it also brings a kind of lonely, lacks of a sense of belongs for me, probably, because I just arrived here for two days. Just felt a little shy, scary and not very confident. Hopefully, it will turn to better after I start my internship next Tuesday. Next Monday is the national holiday, Queen’s birthday. So I have a long weekend to familiar this city.

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The Balance of Nature and Animal
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So Cute !!!

And another thing makes me crazy is KEEP LEFT !!! I always walked on wrong lines and checked out the cars from wrong direction. I was thinking probably I can rent a car to visit some far places. KEEP LEFT makes me give up that idea.

So far it looks ok. Brisbane already surprised me. I believe there will be more surprises coming.

Xiaomin