Conference looks to the future of tourism

December 2, 2021 BY

Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Corinna Eccles, City of Greater Geelong deputy mayor Trent Sullivan, Borough of Queenscliffe mayor Ross Ebbels and TGGB executive director Brett Ince were just some of the attendees at the Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine’s conference. Photo: MICHAEL CHAMBERS

TOURISM Greater Geelong and the Bellarine welcomed businesses out of lockdown and into the return of somewhat normal conditions at a conference this week.

The “Reset, Refocus, Re-energise” event was designed with tourism operators from Greater Geelong and the Bellarine in mind, and invited them to press pause, plan out what the future might look like and find the reasons why they do what they do.

Held at the Rydges Geelong hotel, the conference program included Urban List founder Susannah George, who spoke about travel marketing in a new Australia; Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Corinna Eccles; who spoke about Aboriginal cultural development in tourism; Top Five Movement founder Clare Desira, who ran a workshop on hacks to train your brain, strengthen resilience, navigate chance and build motivation; and Avalon Airport chief executive officer Justin Giddings, who gave a snapshot of life at the airport over the past 19 months and an update on the return of international travel.

The keynote speaker was author and public speaker Holly Ransom, who founded consultancy Emergent and is an experienced non-executive director across the private, government and non-profit sector.

Named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review, Ms Ransom has delivered a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama, was Sir Richard Branson’s nominee for Wired Magazine’s ‘Smart List’ of Future Game Changers to watch and was awarded the US Embassy’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Leadership Excellence in 2019.

Following the conference, attendees were met outside Rydges Geelong by a marching band, which led them to the after-party at nearby CBD venue The Warehouse.