Regional Development VictoriaRDA Hume

State Government of Victoria

Q & A with Sara Quon of Tourism North East - North East Victoria Tourism Product Gap Analysis

1. In 25 words describe what is the Tourism North East Board?

Tourism North East works across the region with local councils, resort managers and industry in the areas of marketing, product and industry development, investment attraction.

2. What area does Tourism North East represent?

We work with the tourism industry across the Shires of Indigo, Alpine, Towong and Mansfield, Rural City of Wangaratta, Benalla Rural City and the alpine resorts of Falls Creek, Mt Hotham and Mt Buller/Stirling.

3. What was the key purpose of the product gap analysis project?

To understand from a travellers point of view what their expectations are of the tourism product within the North East and the areas that are missing within the product mix, highlighting opportunities for private and public sector investment.

4. Did the project meet your/the Board’s expectations?

The research was highly insightful and the six key product gaps identified resonate strongly with our industry and Board. We are already influencing many of our projects with the findings.

5. What value has the project provided to the Board and will anything change because of it?

The project has honed our focus on private sector investment and facilitated Tourism North East and our stakeholders working to highlight key projects that exist and those that need to be planned for to deliver on filling the identified gaps.

6. What were some surprising facts/findings identified during the consultation phase?

The innovative nature of many of our Council and Resort partners in working to develop projects that are forward thinking, fill our tourism product gaps and have high levels of appeal to the Lifestyle Leader audience we target as tourism visitors was genuinely exciting.

7. What are the top priorities the Board will like to see progressed from the project?

High quality unique accommodation in sympathy with nature presents a very real private sector investment opportunity. Tourism North East will also work with our partners to drive better facilitation of our cycling and nature based experiences. There are already several high profile cultural heritage related projects being driven by destinations too.

8. Can you tell us how you came to be CEO Tourism North East?

After four years at Melbourne Food and Wine Festival the role at Tourism North East became available. The combination of food and wine and the nature/alpine elements of this region were incredibly appealing to our family from a personal point of view. The opportunity to work for a forward thinking Board and drive a greenfields tourism organisation to support such an innovative set of industry operators made it irresistible.

9. Favourite spot to visit in North East Victoria?

Now that would be like having a favourite child. The contrasts of mountains and valleys, our six unique and diverse wine regions, a cycle down the rail trail or taking our kids to the snow to ski… all a winning combination.

10. Any hidden gems in the North East we should know about?

Absolutely, too many to name it is a key feature of our region. The stories behind our natural beauty, the ever changing seasonal landscape, our cycle paths, the immersive food and wine experiences and our cultural heritage are all rich and engaging. We have “local secrets” in all our destinations and when our new Digital Platform launches we will have a great vehicle to communicate these special behind the scenes experiences to our visitors too.

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Regional Matters Spotlight

Last Updated: 15 April 2016