Tourism Backlash in Europe

Now is the summer of their discontent.
A story illustrating what happens when enough tourism is too much, driven by the “disruption” of online booking channels like Airbnb, cruise tourism, and the rise of tourist numbers to locations made popular in films and online TV shows.
We already see this in our region, with the overwhelming number of people climbing Mt Warning, – now more than 100,000 per year according to some sources, beginning to diminish that experience for many people, the hoards of visitors to Byron Bay, and other locations where “flash tourism” experiences can wreak havoc on local communities.
This trend needs to be addressed by local councils, DTOs and operators now, before it becomes a problem of a similar magnitude in our region.
While there’s only so much supply and demand which can enable individual operators to “price themselves out of the market”, local councils, state and federal governments have a critical role to play in what is now becoming a double edged sword, and needs a delicate balance.
Lord Howe Island and Bhutan both spring to mind as good examples of places where visitation and access models are used to proactively manage visitor numbers, in order to protect fragile environments, World Heritage listed properties, and the interests and cultural lifestyles of local communities.
Can anyone else provide other examples of destinations which have planning and administration programmes in place, to actively manage visitor and tourism numbers for the benefit of the environment and local communities ahead of the “free market”?



Sunday Summary #travelbiz

Welcome to the first Sunday Summary for #travelbiz posts and shares across the Big Volcano social media networks, based on what interested us, and what our Facebook and Google Plus colleagues thought was interesting enough to like or share as well.

bbutclda Photo: Border Ranges National Park, © by Big Volcano Tourism

This is an In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) and might also amount to being TL:DR; (Too Long, Didn’t Read) post.

These items are from our Facebook, Google Plus Byron Bay or Google Plus Big Volcano Tourism Marketing & Media pages.

From January 28th: One of my favourite curated papers: Travel Tech Weekly Insights #travelbiz #tech

And this post on Jan 31st was popular: How Turkey Home Grew Its Facebook Presence by 3 Million Followers Last Year #travelbiz #destinationmarketing

From February 3rd: Don’t Believe Media Placements Are Impossible: Success Secrets Revealed #travelbiz #marketingbiz  This is an excellent reminder that online isn’t the only game in town for marketing and promotions.

If you’re a Tour Guide, this food tourism article from Feb 10th will be of interest if you’re not already tapping into the growing “ foodie” market: ICYMI: 6 Charts Showing State of Food Tourism With Tour Operators #travelbiz #foodies

And here’s one for the locals, on 14th Feb; Gold Coast No.5 on trips across the ditch for Kiwis, with Melbourne and Sydney topping the list #travelbiz #visitbigvolcano #goldcoast

Where would we be without an article about an OTA’s methods? Shared on Feb 28th;

Expedia Relentlessly Tests the Science of User Experience and Vacation Planning #travelbiz #OTAs #marketingscience  The wide ranging article not only provides insights about the current practices and future direction of Expedia, but probably of the online travel industry generally.  Well worth the 5-10 minute reading time.

On Mar 5th, there was another article about Google removing CPC ads from search results. > Google’s Move Away From Right-Rail Ads: The Hotel Marketer’s Action Plan #travelbiz  with the rather startling observation that, “the average travel consumer takes about 17 days, eight research sessions, 18 site visits, and six clicks before making a hotel booking (Google Research).”

It went on to say that “…a successful multichannel campaign that includes SEO, SEM GDN, mobile marketing, social media, online media and retargeting, dynamic rate marketing and email marketing reaches potential guests at every touchpoint of the travel planning process with one cohesive message across channels, capitalizing on key customer micro-moments across devices.”

<start self promotion> OK, so we’ll put our oar in here and say that if you’re a Ballina, Byron, Tweed, Gold Coast hinterland tourism operator who wants to get additional reach and channel “touchpoints”, then is a local web site established since 1997, and we’ve got a limited number of places available for local accommodation and tour operators, to give you the exposure you want.

On Mar 6th, we shared the continued battle between OTAs (Online Travel Agencies/Aggregators) and operators direct web sites, for the hearts and wallets of travellers with this optimistic article from Tnooz:  Consumers finding trust in hotels websites over other sources says study #travelbiz #reviews #bookings

On Mar 7th, this gem from Destination Queensland, with a post offering a wealth of useful information.; 2015 DestinationQ Forum, Townsville Thursday 8 – Friday 9 October 2015. #travelbiz #destinationmarketing #qld

And finally, from yesterday Mar 12th, the news that NSW and QLD tourism operators to showcase NSW and QLD in China #travelbiz #nsw #china  The Greater China Mission will be held in partnership with Destination NSW and Tourism and Events Queensland from 13 – 19 March 2016 in Xiamen and Beijing.

Vietnam beach tourism director takes on tips from the Tweed

In February, council hosted a member of the Da Nang City People’s Committee in Vietnam to share some tips and information on how coastal resources are managed in the Tweed.

Nguyen Duc Vu, or ‘Vu’, is Vice Director of the Eco Tourism and Sea Board in Da Nang, which manages beach tourism in Son Tra, an urban district of Da Nang in the South Central Coast region of Vietnam.

“I was fortunate to be shown aspects of land management by skilled members of the Council for which I am very grateful,” Vu said.


Photo: Nguyen Duc Vu, Vice Director, Eco Tourism and Sea Board, Da Nang, and Jane Lofthouse, TSC Coordinator Natural Resource Management

While Vu is in Australia for one month to primarily study surf lifesaving and aquatic management, Council offered to show him aspects of land management that are relevant to his work in Vietnam.

Council’s Coordinator Natural Resource Management, Jane Lofthouse, visited various locations along the Tweed Coast with Vu, sharing coastal management tips used here in the Tweed.  “We looked at issues related to coastal erosion and recreational access management,” Ms Lofthouse said.

Da Nang coastal community faces similar issues to Council

“There are definitely similarities between Da Nang and the Tweed; one thing they have in common is the increasing pressure from tourism to the beautiful coastal areas.”

Vu said the time spent with Council learning about coastal management would be valuable to take back to Da Nang.  “I found the paperbark tree and its importance to your wetland areas very interesting,” he said.

“The Tweed Shire is a very beautiful area and you face the same challenges we do in Vietnam, to promote economic development while protecting the environment for all citizens.

“I have learned a great deal of information about lifesaving as well and I really appreciate the assistance given to me to enable me to travel to Australia on this study tour,” he said.  “You have a wonderful country.”

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom 

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See also: Big Volcano Visitor Guide: Government Services: LGAs, State and Federal reps,  and Environmental and research organisations in the Northern Rivers, NSW and Gold Coast region of QLD, Australia.