May 4, 2020

//May 4, 2020
Hi all,
The Chair of the Board to which I report recently sent me a great little video on ‘Optimism vs Positivity’ last week.  It’s by a guy who you may have heard of, named Simon Sinek, who is truly brilliant.  If you haven’t seen his Ted Talks, do yourself a favour.  This video is one minute long – have a look here
I am feeling optimistic right now.  Why? 
Firstly, I’m super confident that restrictions will ease soon, and that regional tourism will be the first sector of our industry to benefit.  Purely for logistical reasons: people will be able to travel regionally before they can travel interstate or overseas. 
Secondly, there will be pent up demand; city folk will, be itching to get out of town. 
Thirdly, while many, many people are in a tough financial spot, many aren’t.  Of my five best mates, all of them are either in the same or better financial position than they were pre-Covid.  Sure, a sample of five isn’t exactly statistically valid, but we need to remember that this bloody virus has not smashed everyone.  For us in tourism, it can feel like Armageddon, but it’s essential to look outside our bubble.  Stimulus packages are starting to roll out too.
Fourthly (is that a word?) 10 million Aussies go overseas on any given year and they won’t be doing that any time soon. Early 2021, at best, is the consensus view. That’s rough for outbound and inbound operators, but as a region, we rely heavily on the Melbourne market, not international.  In fact, I was recently talking with a friend, who is the Head of Operations at a travel company for which I worked for many years, and he was saying that we should chat about product as they’re moving to develop domestic small group regional tours as their o/s business has collapsed.  Some of you have relied on international visitation but are sensibly refocussing your marketing and product offering accordingly.
Lastly (‘fifthly’ is surely not a word…sounds a bit Trumpian), the work we are doing, and you are doing, is setting us up to ‘ride the wave’.  We had consistently strong visitation growth in 2019 and our brand, for which wellness and nature are key, puts us in a pretty good position marketing-wise. While it would be wildly optimistic to think that we will return to those levels in the short term, it is reasonable to expect that we will continue to ‘outperform’ as a region.  On this, we are currently working on some modelling to determine what visitation will look like in the next year.  More on this in a few weeks.
Speaking of riding the wave, we had a fantastic response to our Gap Hunter online seminar, which launched on Thursday. Many of you are using this downturn to do the many things you’ve been meaning to do for ages.  This might mean painting the bathroom, but it is also a great opportunity to strengthen your business processes.  This is exactly what our seminar helps with.  Over 100 of you have signed up, and it is not too late to join.  The first of three seminars ran yesterday, but you can catch up as we recorded the session.  The next live session is this Thursday at 10:30am.  Join the group here.
Remplan Survey
It’s important that the Government fully understands the impacts of Covid-19, and quantifying these impacts is critical.  This survey is specifically targeting insights around change in employment and economic impact in our industry. While many people are dealing with the day-to-day pressures caused by the pandemic, it is also important to remember that the crisis will pass and that we need to plan for the future.

Insights from the survey and subsequent REMPLAN analysis will be provided to federal, state and local governments to enable a targeted response that addresses the impact to local businesses, local employment and in turn broader supply chains.  If you have time, it would be valuable if you could complete this survey.  It doesn’t take long.  It can be accessed here
While the weather has been pretty gloomy, the outlook is getting better.
Steve and the DMT Team
2020-05-05T11:07:49+00:00 May 5th, 2020|Newsletter|Comments Off on May 4, 2020