Future of tourism focus for conference

November 4, 2023 BY

What’s NEXT: The Bendigo Art Gallery continues to be a major tourist drawcard for the region. Photo: FILE

NEXT week, a major tourism conference will return to The Capital for a fourth time.

The Bendigo NEXT event is set for Monday 6 November with an aim to boost the capacity of the region’s tourism businesses and organisations into the future.

The name of the day is an acronym for networking, emerging trends, experiences, and technology.

There are tourism, tech and marketing speakers set to share their experience and tips throughout the program, and Bendigo Regional Tourism marketing expert Adrian Bryt will be the master of ceremonies.

“This is an essential opportunity for all businesses, both local and further afield, who are involved in tourism, customer service, accommodation and events to capture new and best-practice information from inspiring speakers,” said City of Greater Bendigo’s manager of tourism and major events, Terry Karamaloudis.

“There will be an abundance of expertise to provide guidance on emerging trends, what’s next for the industry and what businesses need to do to move forward effectively.

“It’s also a great way for local operators to connect with each other and explore new partnerships.”

Speakers include Mr Karamaloudis, Victorian Tourism Industry Council’s Felicia Mariani and Fiona Sweetman, Booking.com’s Jack Trainor, and SMK Marketing’s James Fitzgerald.

There will also be a panel discussion with Rodney Carter, Kyrun Kerr and Sarah Lowe from First Nations organisations Djaara and Dumawul.

Another 2024-focused panel will feature Mark Orlandi on Bendigo Art Gallery’s Paris: Impressions of Life 1880–1925 exhibition, James Reade on tram building, and Ben Devanny on the Bendigo Airport expansion.

Breakout sessions in the afternoon include a SustainAbility Plus: Empowering Businesses for Inclusive and Sustainable Excellence program launch, a look at digital marketing, and a how-to about leveraging PR campaigns.

A UNESCO Bendigo and Region of Gastronomy toolkit will be provided, and the event is catered.

Bendigo NEXT is an initiative of the City of Greater Bendigo and the Bendigo Tourism Board, and is backed by the State Government.