Jude Franks, a successful Australian consultant with a diverse range of specialist experience across tourism marketing, ecotourism and cultural & heritage tourism shares a range of fascinating insights from working within those industries.
She has partnered with a wide range of organisations to help grow their local tourism, providing mentoring and building teams to give a business the best chance of success in the ever-evolving and challenging tourism industry.
Frank highlights that in the current tourism world, ecotourism is becoming very popular compared to the alternative of commercial mass tourism. She implies that this type of tourism is providing people with a responsible way to access new experiences. Further stating that tourists are now interested in an authentic experience and being able to access areas that were once not known unless they sought them out themselves.
She also goes on to discuss the importance of cultural tourism and that it ultimately boils down to ‘the personality of a place’, suggesting that tourism companies should be telling the unique stories of the land where they are located as this can help to drive tourism.
An important topic Frank dives into is the risk of tourism volumes and how this can impact on the quality of experience, making the point that tourism companies shouldn’t just be driven by profitability and numbers, but to ensure quality of life for people going about their daily lives.
Frank further mentions that the visitor experience will suffer if the only focus is on reaching a mass-market. Instead, there should be an emphasis on protecting the social fabric and cultural identity of tourist destinations.
Another aspect that Frank mentions is the success granted from film and TV production. She highlights how places can benefit hugely off the back of movie productions in their city by creating tailored tourism attractions and activities – just like Ireland has done with Game of Thrones.
A second aspect Frank believes is vital for tourism success is country branding. Every country should have its own unique brand and identity that helps create appeal, making them stand out against destinations around the world to potential visitors or tourists.
Frank also shares some great tips and advice for any tourism businesses looking to succeed, such as making sure they understand the market they are entering, along with having a passionate idea that can progress in the tourism environment. One thing she emphasises is for tourism businesses to know who their stakeholders are beyond the customer, such as national and international stakeholders, ensuring that they also meet their needs.
Lastly, the tourism consultant notes how the significant growth of the tourism industry throughout the years has hugely changed and evolved due to the evolution of technology and the internet and their impact on how we attract tourism.