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Experts discuss building tourism resilience after bushfires and COVID-19

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Richard Ponsford, Executive Officer, Western Melbourne Tourism

Richard Ponsford

Things aren't going to be the same ever again. We're working on a totally new canvas, if you like. And it's really about being open to new possibilities and really thinking creatively about the future. Using all of the difficulties they're facing as really as a catalyst for change and to respond.

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Felicia Mariani, Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Tourism Industry Council

Felicia Mariani

 I think one of the things that was really critical for us was actually the importance of accreditation and that direct correlation to the resilience of the industry.  Accreditation is an important element of what we do at VITC and understanding from this work that those businesses who were accredited actually performed better. They were actually far more apt to come out of the crisis, they responded more effectively. I think that's a really important learning for us because I think accreditation is something we need to be looking at as we go forward to ensure that we've got that resilience of the industry.

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Mark Griffiths, Tourism planner & policy advisor, nem Australasia

Mark Griffiths

I think what's really important it really demonstrates is the fact that data and research and bringing it all together into one place early and you know so that people can actually act on it and actually make a change you know with it making it evidence-based. 

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Dr Gabrielle Lindsay-Smith, Research Fellow, Victoria University

Gabrielle Lindsay-Smith

The mental health of the business owners and employees in the tourism sector has suffered really severely as a result of the COVID crisis and unfortunately mental health services in regional areas are really not up to scratch and also people who the business owners, probably don't reach out for help as much as they should. So they really need some extra support in order to get the services they need to improve their mental health coming out of the crisis.  

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Prof. Terry DeLacy, Professor Sustainable Tourism Victoria University

Terry DeLacy

The World Economic Forum as part of its reset agenda following on from COVID has established a Global Futures Council in Sustainable Tourism and its objective is to reset tourism to be more inclusive to be more sustainable and most importantly to be more resilient.  I was invited onto the Global Futures Council this year which I was delighted to be, but the research that we've been doing here will feed directly in to what we're doing internationally through the World Economic Forum.

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Dr Joanne Pyke, Director School for the Visitor Economy

Joanne Pyke

One of the really important takeouts is that we really need to do a workforce review to address the kind of labour and skills shortages that we've been experiencing over years now but they're now really acute so if we're going to move forward, we really need to have a reliable labour supply.

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Natalie O'Brien, Tourism Planner and Policy Advisor, Natalie O'Brien & Co.

Natalie O’Brien

I think the research has really prioritised this skills and workforce capability and shortage and I'd like to think that we can work cohesively to encourage more people to enter this industry.

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