Outback Queensland tourism has certainly had an incredible year in 2021 and we are looking forward to even greater success in 2022.
Starting the New Year in top gear, Outback Queensland Tourism Association (OQTA) will be hosting two key industry events in Brisbane to allow for maximum participation and exposure for our industry and destination.
About the events
Following the highly successful, inaugural Outback Queensland Muster in February 2021, OQTA is once again
bringing together local tourism operators, trade and media in Brisbane on 23 and 24 February.
The Outback Queensland Digital Round Up will be held on Wednesday 23 February.
The Digital Round Up program will include keynote speakers, panel discussions, and opportunities for our tourism operators and staff to access essential skills and business development information to help grow their businesses into the future.
Digital skills and networks for business is a key area that local operators have highlighted as essential to enhancing business and up-skilling staff to make Outback tourism businesses competitive and able to grow into the future.
The Digital Round Up is delivered with support from Tourism and Events Queensland’s Contestable Grant.
The Outback Tourism Muster will be held on Thursday 24 February. The event will include trade display sessions, presentations and networking opportunities for operators and leading travel agents and media.
The Muster will also feature our season campaign and traveller’s guide launch.
This is a fantastic opportunity to support outback communities and businesses, and to continue to build their world-class tourism offering and grow the Outback as a destination of choice.
About deciding to go ahead with the event
The OQTA team began planning the Digital Round Up and Muster more than six months ago.
This event is such an important opportunity to take advantage of pre-season down time to maximise member attendance and to set the scene for 2022 as we kick off the new season campaign and traveller’s guide.
We were excited to develop a bumper two-day event – combining the practical business development of the Digital Round Up and the high-level campaign and networking opportunities of the Outback Tourism Muster in the heart of Brisbane at the RNA Showgrounds.
It is no easy feat in the current environment to develop an event program let alone consider logistics for our member attendees spread across our region – more than half of Queensland! – as well as metro-based trade and media that are set to attend.
Since we began planning there have been numerous changes in the travel and event environment as well as COVID-19 responses and restrictions.
We have continued to stay up to date with advice from authorities as well as people across our region and industry. We’ve remained ready to adapt as much as possible should we need to.
With COVID-19 cases increasing in recent weeks we consulted with our members through a survey to gauge their preference for attending the scheduled events on 23-24 February.
We have noted the balance between people’s concerns as well as positive perspectives on the current situation with roughly half of respondents indicating they would attend.
Our team has been hard at work investigating options including postponing, cancelling or moving to virtual events.
With substantial investment already made in planning and event delivery, the balance towards attending and the significant opportunity that the scheduled timing presents, we have made the decision to continue as planned.
For two years we have all done the hard yards with lockdowns and restrictions.
With vaccination rates reaching over 90%, state and federal governments are opening up business and travel with recent interstate and national borders re-opening.
As we head into our third year of living with COVID we understand what it takes to run a COVID-safe event.
The venue and OQTA are prepared to deliver a COVID-safe event.
While we proceed with caution, our sites are firmly set on keeping up the momentum gained in 2021 and making sure we get the biggest bite of the cherry for Outback Queensland in the 2022 season. That means sticking to our plan and making the most of the opportunity we have.
We appreciate concerns and understand that it will be a personal decision whether to travel and attend.
OQTA is always looking for opportunities and support to deliver more events, training and connections for our members in the future, including those hosted in-region.
There will be more opportunities ahead for our members in 2022 and beyond.