VICs in Frontline for Regional Tourism Drive

Regional South Australian tourism is set to benefit from a three-year state government initiative designed to increase tourism expenditure by tapping into the potential of accredited visitor information centres.

The minister for regional development and tourism, Gail Gago, says there are 45 accredited VICs across the state and all play a key role. “While the trend towards tourists researching and booking holidays online continues, these same tourists also value personal recommendations once they’re in their destination,” the minister said.

“That’s where the local knowledge, guidance and friendly welcome provided by VIC staff and volunteers can make all the difference. VICs are the frontline of a region’s tourism industry.

“The South Australian Tourism Commission’s goal through the Sell SA Pilot Project is to provide VIC staff and volunteers with the tools they need to convert as many tourists’ enquiries as possible into sales, pumping more dollars into our regional economies.”

Ms Gago said a new, dedicated team has been established within SATC to work with and support all 45 accredited VICs across the state.

The first stage of this project will run over the next 12 months, involving eight centres.

“This first stage will involve SATC working with each VIC to jointly create an individual development plan, identifying its strengths and weaknesses, and providing a roadmap for addressing these to create future growth,” Ms Gago said. “The participating centre’s staff and volunteers will receive training in areas such as computer skills, customer service and visual merchandising.

“The success of the program will be measured by improved economic impact from the VICs involved in the program and factors such as increased visitor numbers to the centres,” she said. “If successful, the project will continue and will eventually involve all VICs.”

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