Destination Marlborough had identified a need to support their tourism members and appointed Directional Tourism to the task. The requirement was to identify the needs and knowledge gaps of the Tourism Members and implement a series of product capability workshops.
The workshops had to appeal to the varying skill levels of tourism knowledge based on where a business was at within its own life cycle. Tourism knowledge varied considerably with lifestyle operators through to commercial tourism businesses attracting international clients from off-shore agents.
The workshops were not only to add value, but to support and align with Destination Marlborough’s objectives of ensuring operators took advantage of opportunities presented to them. We knew that operators were short on time so developed a series of monthly, one hour ‘Lunch & Learn’ workshops that were delivered in Blenheim, Picton and Havelock. The ‘Lunch & Learn’ workshops were delivered by Tracey Green and commenced in 2019 with a series of 101 topic’s comprising of:
Distribution channels and commission levels
Pricing and yield management
5 steps to attracting direct clients
In addition, social media specialist Kyle Murlinder (Bare Kiwi) presented in a one-to-many format, delivering his Social Media Boot Camp over two days.
In 2019, the workshops had approximately 150 attendees over a four workshop cycle with an average capacity of 80%. Workshops were delivered during the off-peak season (July – October) to ensure maximum attendance, and further workshops planned for April 2020.
Responding to COVID
COVID 19 bought all tourism operators to a complete standstill. Destination Marlborough and Directional Tourism realised quickly that there was a need to keep Tourism Members informed and connected. The workshops recommenced in early April via Zoom and a 12 week programme was delivered, focusing on digital capability and business well-being.
As part of the programme, Directional Tourism liaised and coordinated with industry specialists to deliver content to the Tourism Members weekly. Digital specialists included Alex Dykman of Maverick Digital, Gina Paladina of Tomahawk and our well- being topics were delivered by Sydney based High Performance Coach, Claudine Chicheportiche.
These 2020 workshops were deemed a life line to many tourism business owners seeking answers and a need for tools and knowledge to ‘pivot’ their businesses. The 12 week programme proved a success with over 900 registered attendees ranging from tourism, hospitality and wineries.
Delivering these workshops to tourism operators and sharing knowledge remains one of the highlights for Tracey of Directional Tourism.
Jacqui Lloyd – General Manager Destination Marlborough
Destination Marlborough has contracted Directional Tourism Services for the last two years to assist with product development and capability building for our industry. Tracey’s strong background and knowledge not only in the tourism sector, but also in small business, has been a great asset to our organisation. Feedback from attendees (and repeat attendances) is a testament to that. Tracey and the Directional Tourism team are able to impart key information and training to our industry in a straightforward and balanced way. The ability of the team to leap in to help us over a trying time like COVID-19 was brilliant.