Conference showcases our top attractions

MORE than 160 tourism operators from throughout Gippsland attended a recent two-day conference in Sale.

Destination Gippsland, Wellington Shire Council and Wellington Regional Tourism hosted the Gippsland Tourism Conference.

Delegates heard presentations on customer service excellence, real Gippsland case studies, publicity with no budget and Tourism Victoria’s marketing plans.

Gippsland writer, film-maker and adventurer, keynote speaker Tim Cope, had attendees captivated with his journey of motivation, resilience and self-discovery, and the special appearance of his dog Tigon left many people in awe.

The conference was attended by leaders in the tourism industry, including Tourism Victoria chairman Andrew Dwyer, who spoke and attended all familiarisation events.

Destination Gippsland chief executive Terry Robinson said this year’s conference was the biggest and best.

“The feedback from delegates has been very positive about the quality of the speakers, the two-day program and Wellington as a host,” he said.

“With the support of Wellington Regional Tourism and Wellington Shire Council, we collectively achieved what we set out to do with the conference to bring the Gippsland tourism industry together, to provide a high quality professional development opportunity and to showcase some of the wonderful tourism products in the Wellington area.”

Wellington Shire mayor Scott Rossetti opened the conference.

The delegates were then met at the Sale Botanic Gardens by Wellington Shire town crier and councillor Darren McCubbin, and were treated to lunch in the gardens with the Friends of the Botanic Gardens and entertainment by Pop Up Piano players.

A great night was then enjoyed at the Gippsland Vehicle Collection in Maffra and a dinner at Avon Ridge Winery.

The following morning, there was a breakfast by the historic Port of Sale and cruise on the Rubeena.

Local hotel proprietor Trent Fairweather said this year’s tourism conference was a good opportunity to showcase Wellington Shire to other industry operators.