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SEGRA Foundation
Regional Tourism Boat

BOOKED OUT: How to start and grow a successful regional tourism business

Tourism is often touted as the saviour for regional economic development, but as the rise of investors using Airbnb’s across the country, it raises questions about what are the fundamentals that underpin a region’s tourism ‘success’? What is the role of small business owners and how can Councils effectively and proactively support regional tourism operators without resorting to higher taxes and punitive measures?

“The tourism industry is impacted by big picture economic forces and so many local and seasonal variables year on year. So, to survive, operators must be robust in mindset and where they invest, and the support they get, should reflect this for long term success,’ says Susan Lee, author and regional tourism consultant. ‘Regions need profitable tourism businesses, not just micro businesses or hobbyists who only just break even.”

Her new book, Booked Out! How to Start and Grow a Successful Regional Tourism Business, unpacks the case for why regions need a tailored approach to optimise tourism benefits for the whole community.” A lot of the marketing advice new operators get fails to address the complexity of working in regions, its shapeshifting structure and how to navigate the sector to get support. It’s very hard to find quality specialised professional support in regions, which is why I wrote this book, to make it affordable and accessible. Local government and regional decision makers can help operators strengthen their regional roots in so many simple ways, and getting bookings is the first step.”

Sign up to get your copy of Booked Out! Available from late July 2023.

Susan Lee will present at this year’s National Regional and Economic Development Summit in Toowoomba on 26-27 July. Dedicated to advancing the economic, environmental and social outcomes for rural, remote and regional Australia, the Summit will focus on a collective approach to solving the biggest issues facing the regions.

Registrations for the National Regional and Economic Development Summit are now open.