Outback in the spotlight at ATE22

ATE22 Insights – Denise Brown, CEO Outback Queensland Tourism Association

While the nation’s eyes were turned towards the election last week, tourism was in the spotlight returning near to full form at the Australian Tourism Exchange 2022 – the largest tourism trade event in the Southern Hemisphere.

This year ATE was hosted in Sydney this year bringing together more than 1000 buyers and sellers in addition to virtual ATE attendance. The event as always was a fantastic opportunity to connect with many familiar faces as well as reach new avenues to share and connect to Outback Queensland.

ATE is a ticket that is in demand and we’re lucky to have secured representation at the event including myself, Natalie Flecker, Barry Weare and Anita Clark attending in various capacities.

What does this all mean for Outback Queensland? OQTA has put Outback Queensland on the radar of leading travel trade from across Australia and the world through more than 90 meetings. We’ve also come away even more energised, with more leads and opportunities to follow up or put into action.

I wanted to share some of what I took away from the three days. This really is an exciting time like no other for Outback Queensland. Operator sentiment is strong, and Outback Queensland is on the hit list of many operators. Opportunities are ripe for the picking and we’re ready to work to get the biggest bite for our region.

ATE22 business meetings snapshot:

  • German and USA self-drives and New Zealand natural experiences and walks are really eager to have more information on the Outback.
  • They really appreciated our ATE Trade Product list and also the great work with the sample itineraries in our Traveller’s Guide.
  • We’re looking forward to running some ATEC famils later this year with some bespoke German and USA FIT specialists.
  • Domestic wholesalers and OTA are all still very interested in Outback Queensland, with a big focus on guided walking programs, dinosaurs, digs and research and amazing camping grounds with amazing landscapes. There is good interest in Natural Sciences Loop and back country touring.
  • Overall, the industry is courageous and looking forward to recovery via immersive experiences.
  • Our domestic market will sustain for another 12 months and then we need to ensure we are backing up our trade distribution education and strategy with new product development and giving reasons to spend more time in each location of the Outback.

And even more great news, ATE23 is set for the Gold Coast. With the event ‘just down the road’ on our Queensland patch we’re aiming to boost our contingent. How keen are we? We’ve already booked rooms for our Outback Queensland operators on the Gold Coast for ATE attendance. Stay tuned for more in this space.

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