Recently we sat down for a coffee with Jessica Foote, Industry Advisor for the Tourism Council of Western Australia (TCWA).

What is the TCWA and how do they fit into the tourism industry here in WA?

Tourism Council WA (TCWA) is a not for profit (and non-government) membership based organisation and is the peak body representing tourism businesses, industries and regions in Western Australia. The Council promotes the value of tourism, facilitates sustainable tourism development and advocates industry policy on behalf of members.

In addition to the advocacy work that we do, TCWA administers a range of industry development programs such as the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program (ATAP), a series of training workshops such as China Ready and also runs the Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards which has just opened for 2016 nominations!

We understand HQ is in Perth but you have moved down here and will be working and living in the region…a big welcome from us….when you aren’t up visiting the team at HQ what will your role down here focus on?

I am very excited to be waking up and working in one of my favourite parts of the state! My job involves working with tourism operators to assist them in applying the Tourism Council WA programs to their businesses and provide industry advice regarding quality standards, online marketing and business development. Right now, I’m busy getting to know everyone in town!

Have you told you Perth colleagues how good it is down south or are you keeping it to yourself?

I don’t think that I could have kept the beautiful South West from my colleagues if I tried, we all love travelling to the Margaret River Region for work and play! If I’m honest though, I suspect that they might be a little jealous of my phenomenal wine selection and relaxing beach walks. Every weekend still feels like a holiday!

We’ve heard rumours that you cruise around the region with a clipboard and a checklist instead of a selfie-stick. That sounds a bit cray cray, what’s the deal there?

Accreditation-Tick-footerThat’s true, part of my job is to visit businesses from all over Western Australia and assist them to meet tourism industry standards in areas such as business planning, risk management, visitor servicing and even environmental management. Our members who are accredited through the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program (ATAP) get to catch up with our Industry Advisor team as they travel the state to talk best practice and business development. Once a business has met the standard, they earn the tick! We currently have over one thousand Accredited Tourism Businesses in WA that are leading industry and exceeding customer expectations!

Why should we Trust the (your) Tick? 

When a customer chooses a business with the ‘tick’ they can be sure we’ve checked them out before they check in! A business displaying the accreditation ‘tick’ logo has met industry minimum standards in terms of;

  • Quality
  • Reliability
  • Professional customer service
  • Accuracy in advertising
  • Sound environmental practices
  • Appropriately licenced and qualified operators
  • Adherence to a code of ethics.

We get asked by members all the time about assistance with reviewing their own websites and digital marketing, is this something you can help with? 

Absolutely, I love to talk digital marketing! The TCWA Industry Advisors offer one-on-one eTourism Coaching sessions where we can review your business’ online presence (think websites, social media and online distribution!), provide you with tailored feedback and help you to implement updates. There are so many cost effective tools, resources and opportunities available to help you to reach your customers online but it can be really tough for time poor operators to keep up with the constant changes. I find that having someone to bounce ideas off and help you to prioritise the most valuable and relevant activities can make a world of difference! This brilliant service is free to TCWA members too!

Finally, your colleagues are coming back to the region for several days next week with some marketing gurus to conduct a suite of tourism workshops, that sound very targeted to the latest digital marketing dilemmas. In THREE words tell us why operators should check out your programs if they haven’t already?

Can I have four? Define, create, curate, engage. Let’s channel your passion and competitive edge into some effective and easy to manage marketing power!

How do we find you Jessica, if we want to chat more about your services and activities?

You could send me an email at jfoote@tourismcouncilwa.com.au, give me a call on 0418 372 486 OR if a face-to-face discussion is more your style then I’m happy to catch up over a flat white (extra shot please).