Grampians Sustainable & Regenerative Tourism Mentoring Program
In an Australian industry first, we worked in partnership with Grampians Tourism Inc to design and facilitate a bespoke, layered mentoring program for tourism businesses in the Grampians Tourism Region, in Victoria.
Revered as one of Australia's premier nature based tourism destinations, the region is heralded for it's breathtaking Grampians National Park, which is home to an array of nature-based and outdoor and adventure experiences for everyone.
Given it's experience profile, and the vision from regional stakeholders to advocate for a sustainable destination for the future, together with Grampians Tourism Inc we identified the opportunity to activate a program that supports industry to develop and implement a regenerative mindset to achieve their vision.
To do this, we designed the program to not only educate on practical solutions for businesses to become sustainable and regenerative, but looked holistically at their business including values, customers, experience design, partnerships and positioning, to identify opportunities for alignment with the vision.
Our engaged group of operators came away feeling inspired to take positive action and were more confident in setting both short and long-term sustainability goals.
As part of our industry training activity to build business capabilities, it was fantastic to have The Tourism Collective team deliver our Sustainable Tourism Program – which aligns with and supports our vision to be recognised as one of the world’s great sustainable nature-based tourism destinations. From the workshop collaboration and engagement with Bec and Nic to the individual mentoring sessions, all components of the program were well delivered providing our operators with invaluable insights, knowledge and resources. Our participants rated the program and online platform highly and felt the content was extremely relevant. We thank the team for sharing all of their expertise in this space and helping to facilitate more meaningful and regenerative visitor experiences and partnerships
The Program is delivered as a learning 'journey' where each module builds on the last. Four Modules were delivered, covering the following learning areas:
This Program was facilitated as a layered combination of methodologies. These methodologies were deliberately chosen based on the geographic size of the region, the time-pressures for operators to make live content screenings, and to enable time for group mentoring and individual bespoke mentoring.
- Topic 1 was delivered as a Workshop in region.
- All other Topics were delivered as self-paced recorded webinars
- Participants were invited to attend a group mentoring Zoom Session to debrief on the learning material covered in the Program. These sessions were a useful space for participants to ask more questions, and also to network and brainstorm solutions together.
- 12 businesses (from the total number of participants in the program) also participated in 2 x individual mentoring sessions. The first session was a goal setting session that focussed on practical application of Sustainable & Regenerative Tourism learnings. The second session, looked more holistically at business operations, experience design, partnerships and positioning to determine new opportunities to consider, along with optimisation recommendations.
- Bespoke learning materials (workbooks, templates) were created and supplied to support the key learnings. Each topic consisted of a set of Tasks, which were practical actions that each business could implement straight away
- All learning materials were made available to participants within 24 hours after each module.
- Australian tourism business case studies (and local case studies) were used throughout the webinars, making the learning materials as relevant as possible for the participants
A survey was distributed to all participants at the end of the Program which revealed:
- All respondents were ‘very satisfied’ with the Program overall
- All respondents would 'highly recommend' The Tourism Collective as facilitators of industry training programs (10/10)
At the start and end of Topic 1 workshop participants were asked “How confident do you feel in your ability to implement regenerative tourism practices in your business”
At start of the workshop survey:
- 0% of the attendees felt completely confident.
- 43% felt slightly confident.
By the end of the workshop, we asked the same question:
- 82% of attendees now felt completely confident or slightly confident.
- 55% felt completely confident.
This outcome demonstrated that the content in Topic 1 delivered specific, practical skills that enabled confidence within the learning cohort to implement their learnings into their businesses.
This was further reflected in the robust short and long-term goals participants set from their learning in their Mentoring Sessions, and also the quick activation of short-term goals by many of the participants.
The 2023 Sustainable Tourism Program provided by Grampians Tourism in conjunction with the Tourism Collective presented some really insightful new ideas and thought provoking concepts.
It opened up a new pathway to collaborate with other local business and inspired me to introduce some positive changes across multiple businesses.