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Australia's Accredited VICs: A Strategic Directions Paper

Tourism and Events Queensland industry resources

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2 Australia's Accredited VICs: A Strategic Directions Paper Contents 02 Introduction 03 A quick snapshot of accredited VICs in Australia 04 A time for change 05 Priorities for the VIC network 06 1. Contemporary VICs 08 2. Extraordinary visitor experiences 10 3. A partnership approach to visitor servicing 12 4. A recognised VIC network 14 Where to from here Introduction Nationally there is a commitment to providing an accredited visitor information service that is relevant and valued by visitors, the tourism industry and local communities. Since 2010, a number of state and territory tourism organisations (STOs) have commissioned reports on the future of visitor information centres (VICs). 1 This interest highlights both the significance of VICs in regional tourism and awareness that they face major opportunities and challenges as the landscape of tourism changes internationally. Developments in digital technology alone are transforming how visitors' access information. This strategic directions paper distils the key findings of those reports. The intention of the paper is to direct the national network of accredited VICs towards a future where they have a clear, relevant and valued role in the tourism distribution chain and their local communities. The value of VIC accreditation is many fold. It provides VIC owners access to the national brand and signage and to a nationwide network of centres. Accreditation also fosters high standards in visitor servicing in the regions by ensuring the delivery of quality information and visitor facilities and the professional development of staff and volunteers. Accredited VICs are well positioned to play an important role in achieving the tourism industry's goal to increase its competitiveness and double visitor expenditure by 2020. As a key point of distribution once the visitor has arrived, VICs have a capacity unrivalled in their region to disperse visitor expenditure, increase yield and inspire visitors to re-visit and recommend the destination. The future success of accredited VICs will depend on their ability to respond to changing visitor and industry expectations and deliver value to visitors, the industry, local government and residents. 1 The STOs and their reports are: Tourism Victoria (Victorian Visitor Information Centres Futures Project, 2013); Tourism and Events Queensland (A Way Forward for Queensland VICs, 2014); South Australian Tourism Commission (South Australia: The role of Visitor Information Centres (VICs) in distributing tourism product in regional South Australia, 2012); Tourism New South Wales, through Aurora Research, (Northern Rivers Regional Visitor Services Strategy, 2012)

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