Ohh to be 18 ·

Ohh to be 18

This week the Queensland Tourism Industry Council put its big boy pants on as it turned 18! What a celebration we had. Over 260 industry representatives joined us at Victoria Park, Brisbane as we saw our Birthday in with a bang!

Since we are on the land of Yaggera People we were welcomed by the ever amazing Shannon Ruska one of our Network Champions. Shannon takes a contemporary approach to welcome to countries engaging the audience with tales of tourism and his land. He shares an incredible passion for the industry and has worked hard to bridge Indigenous and non-Indigenous tourism experiences. Partnering with key tourism product around his land such as Riverlife, Shannon appears to effortlessly integrate the story of his people across experiences, sharing history and culture with visitors from near and far.

The birthday kicked off with a flash-back to the early noughties where Minister Jones shared the Tourism Queensland (as it was known then) ad campaign from the year QTIC began. What was interesting was that this timeless ad is just as relevant now and it was then and could quite easily be rolled out again. For those of you with a memory a bit like mine, and can barely remember what I had for lunch let alone an ad from 18 years ago, just remember where ever you go in Queensland, swim between the flags!

On to our illustrious leader, Daniel Gschwind reflected over the past 18 years, the challenges we have faced and the opportunities that have grown in this incredible industry. Looking to the future, the next five (and hopefully 18) years are shaping up to be rather exciting. We are seeing unprecedented growth in visitor numbers and now more than ever it’s integral that we up our quality to ensure higher yielding visitation to support our communities and create a sustainable future that protects society and environment.

A panel session looking to the future of Queensland tourism featured our Network sponsor The Star Entertainment Group’s Chief Executive Matt Bekier, QYAC CEO,QTIC board member and Network Champion Cameron Costello and Spicers Retreat’s Kiera Klein. There was a lot of positive conversation regarding the importance of Indigenous tourism experiences and the opportunities for tourism operators to partner with Indigenous operators to create unique, memorable and defining moments for visitor. A fantastic example is The Star Entertainment Group working with QYAC. The Star Entertainment Group are now the sole user of Quandamooka honey! Cameron also spoke to the integration of authentic Indigenous experiences across Queensland and the exciting year ahead as he leads a team towards the development of the First Nations Tourism Potentials Plan. Watch this space, at 18 QTIC really is coming in to its own, maturing beyond our years and creating a visionary space for a collaborative tourism industry in Qld!

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