Late last month the MRBTA facilitated a handful of our first member consultation sessions for 2016/17.
Based on survey feedback from members, these sessions are designed to give further opportunity for members and MRBTA marketing & tourism services staff to engage  on a more intimate, face to face  basis to discuss:
  • MRBTA marketing activities & tourism services
  • Industry updates from a top down and bottom up approach

ACCOMMODATION SESSION (21 SEPTEMBER 2016) & MARKETING FOCUS GROUP (22 SEPTEMBER 2016)

We hope that our first 20 participants found the first accommodation session at The Deck as valuable as MRBTA staff. We also caught up with the MRBTA’s member marketing focus group who have been providing insights through the amalgamation and new destination brand process.

Vigorous discussion and insights were considered around a number of topics including:

  • Travel trade activity and queries around responsibilites of the two parties in the new MOU with Australia’s South West
  • Marketing activities to the Free Independent Traveller Market (FIT) and Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market and not just international trade as above (perception that international market are only day tripping into the region and not undertaking high amounts of overnight stays)
  • Accommodation booking channels – consumer behaviour and preferred channels
  • Tools/stats for operators to be able to benchmark on a localised, regional level
  • Feedback to better booking conversion through MRBTA promotions channels (visitor centres & margaretriver.com)
See presentation

TAKE HOME MESSAGES FOR MRBTA

The below are some take home learnings and messages that the MRBTA team have identified and activities we can review and implement as a result of this first session :

TRAVEL TRADE:
  • There is still diversity of knowledge and interest amongst operators around the trade market space having trade ready product (ie, 25-30% commissionable product), and return on investment, due to variance in size of property and markets they attract (F.I.T verse Groups, international and interstate market sectors)
  • More information, online resources and toolkits to be made available to members around trade activities and follow up from trade shows with ASW; another workshop in region to be organised around ‘becoming trade ready’ or what trade activity is; facilitation of mentoring opportunities led by Australia’s South West in partnership with the Australia Tourism Export Council (ATEC)
VISITATION STATISTICS & BENCH MARKING:
  • The MRBTA to re-initiate a quarterly based member survey (Tourism Barometer) to further support statistics collated by Tourism Research Australia and reported by Tourism WA to also aid quicker, more frequent, localised bench marking and response to trends
DESTINATION MARKETING ACTIVITIES:
  • More storytelling, itineraries and marketing activity that promote longer length of stay and diversity of product – better syndication of content produced to be shared with members & via social channels
  • More concentrated effort and strategic use of MRBTA’s consumer data for after-sales and more customised communications
BOOKING SERVICE & CONVERSION
  • More support & awareness amongst members on the vital importance to update their images, rates, availability, facilities, property description through Bookeasy for increased exposure on margaretriver.com and to assist visitor centre sales enquiries