Tourism Mentoring Program for Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism, Victoria
As borders open up, and COVID restrictions eased in late 2021, Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism approached us to discuss options regarding mentoring for the tourism businesses across their region.
With specific supply side challenges emerging for the industry (workforce, product supply, housing) along with visitor's changed expectations, it was important to tailor the mentoring to address these challenges, and other issues pertinent to the destination after a really busy summer period in 2021/2022.
132 participants across 64 businesses participated in this Program, reflecting a cross section of industry sectors.
The Program was structured around core learning modules supplemented by group mentoring opportunities, and offered a holistic perspective on how the relationship between experience, the visitor, and marketing come together to achieve a sustainable business, which is of particular importance in the current climate.
Clearly experts in their field, and very willing to share knowledge and expertise and passion for the sector.
I have found the 'Reignition Program' to be energising and has provided lots of theory and practical advice for running a tourism business. More than just how to do social media or a website - they took us on a journey to think about our product offering, our customers and how we communicate with them. Paige and Rebecca were both fabulous and I would highly recommend.
The Program is delivered as a learning 'journey' where each moddule builds on the last. Six Modules were delivered, covering the following learning areas:
- Tourism Landscape, Best Practice Tourism Marketing + Ideal Customers
- Creating Exceptional Experiences
- Website Marketing Strategy
- Social Media Strategy
- Reputation Management, Customer Advocacy
- Partnerships, Packaging, Distribution and Guest Communication Strategy
- Five of the six modules were delivered via an interactive 1 hour live online webinar, which were facilitated weekly.
- Module 6 was delivered as an in-person Live Workshop (4 workshops, across 3 days in destination)
- All webinars were recorded, so those participants who couldn’t attend the workshop or webinars live could watch the replays.
Small Group Mentoring
- Participants were invited to attend 2 group mentoring Zoom Sessions to debrief on the learning material covered in the previous 2/3 Modules.
- These sessions were a useful space for participants to ask more questions, and also to network and brainstorm solutions together.
- Bespoke learning materials (workbooks, templates) were created and supplied to support the key learnings in the webinars. Each Module consisted of a set of Tasks, which were practical actions that each business could implement straight away
- All learning materials (including recorded live webinar + replay of the live workshops) 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
The webinars were easy to follow along and the accompanying workbooks helped make it easy to turn the information into real actions I could take for my business.
As a micro business and a business owner with no marketing skills, who like all tourism business suffered under Covid, the title of this program - Re-ignition - certainly delivered on its promise. Rebecca and Paige put together a thorough program that left me feeling empowered with strategies I can use to move my business forward.
At the completion of the program, we collated feedback from the participants, with an overview of some of their comments below and in the breakout boxes.
- "Finally a practical and entertaining program that wasn't "101". - Paul Anderson, Escape Discovery Tours
- "I was not sure I had a lot to learn about tourism as my business has been working well. However the course was challenging making me focus on who are my customers, how to I best convey my business and business values to them and use social media, website, and other means of communication to them. I learnt about listening to the customers messages and providing a product that better addresses their needs from our eco tourism business." - Jenny McAuley, Red Hill Truffles
- "I was captivated with the ladies introduction about themselves, they are professional and knowledgeable women with passion in what they do. I was looking for clarification on today's trends in Marketing and they delivered this perfectly. I would recommend Tourism e school for businesses to learn about the principles in Marketing." - Luisa Ranisavljev, Moonraker Dolphin Swims
- "The Program presented by Paige and Rebecca were professional and to the point. It was great to hear of examples from other regions of businesses doing good things as well as those on the MP. There are plenty of things to take away and implement and reassess in the business." - Ebony Flett, Red Hill Candle Co
- "Rebecca & Paige are great facilitators who are passionate about teaching and helping small business. They deliver content in a way that is simple and easy to understand and always had time for questions. Content delivered was appropriate and useful for the variety of businesses in attendance." - Drew Simpson, Smart Brothers Brewing
- "While it may appear to be a large commitment of time, it was worth the investment, and extremely helpful to have the modules available on line for the odd time live attendance wasn't possible. The content was relevant across a large range and size of businesses, and easy to recognise what was relevant and easy to implement." - Bronwyn Gibbs, The Studio Somers
The program highlighted the importance of focusing on our ideal customers and what they need to know in order for our business to be found. For Chief's Son, it was great to broaden our horizons from product marketing and shift our focus to being a destination for people coming to the Mornington Peninsula.