An introduction to Amazing South Coast Tourism Inc

The local government authorities of Albany, Denmark and Plantagenet have been working together as the Lower Great Southern Economic Alliance (LGEA) to deliver a Tourism Development Strategy for the region covered by the three Councils.

In parallel with this, the Boards of Denmark Tourism Inc (DTI), Discover Albany Foundation Ltd (DAF) and Mount Barker Tourist Bureau Inc (MBTB) were working together with the objective of unification into single Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) for the region.

Amazing South Coast Tourism Inc (ASC) commenced operations on 1 July 2018 as the member-based “parent” of the ASC Group. With all memberships of DTI (now called ASC (Operation) Inc and of MBTB (now called ASC (Special Events) Inc expiring on 30 June 2018, ASC is now the sole member of both. Previous members are encouraged to take up membership of ASC. From an operational perspective, ASC (Operations) Inc now has responsibility for the group’s visitor centres, core events and group administrative services.

This restructure resulted from the implementation of a stakeholder-supported comprehensive report produced by Churchill Consulting. Churchill oversaw a similar consolidation of the Geographe Bay Tourism and Augusta Margaret River Tourism Associations into their current successful Local Tourism Organisation).
ASC will work closely with the LGSEA to leverage the state’s commitment of $250,000 pa to deliver significant destination marketing for the region over the next three years. It will also benefit from royalties from the operation of Albany’s Historic Whaling Station.

A capable and experienced Executive Officer identified through a national recruiting process will manage ASC and be guided by an experienced Transitional Board. This comprises representatives of the three former organisations, the three local governments and skills-based industry appointees. This wealth of experience and skills is a strong platform to assist the growth of tourism into the future. The Transitional Board will retire at the first AGM in 2019.
Nominations for five Board positions will be advertised six weeks before the AGM and members (or representatives of corporate members) of a least three months membership may stand for election by members with each municipality having at least one representative.

The Board may appoint up to three skills-based members to ensure a desirable mix of industry operators and legal, financial and marketing expertise. The elected Board may also appoint an independent Chairman.

What does the establishment of ASC achieve?

ASC is focused on promoting the region, providing more value to members and, as a financially strong association, ASC is well positioned to take the Amazing South Coast brand to unprecedented levels of state, national and international awareness.

Through greater resources and a unified brand, ASC will be better able to increase visitation, length of stay, visitor spend and compete with other tourism regions around Australia as they consolidate to take a more commercial and competitive approach.

ASC provides scale, growth opportunities, access to national and international tourism markets, and the reach and capability necessary for success in a changing world.

More resources will be applied to the membership area including programs to increase training and education to grow your business. Streamlined communications will keep you informed of important industry developments and, with a unified regional organisation behind you, you can expect the local industry voice to be heard on issues that affect your business.

BENEFITS IN SUMMARY

ENHANCED MEMBER SERVICING

• Avoids multiple membership fees across three organisations
• Increased benefits to members, including greater funding leverage, prominent, high profile website presence, unprecedented marketing and media coverage, broader and more cohesive internal and external target engagement
• Member privileges and priorities in campaigns and on website
• Wider representation across the region through unified Visitor Centres
• Additional resources for famils, training and reporting

A MORE SUSTAINABLE ORGANISATION

• Financial robustness, economies of scale and more efficient use of resources
• Improve flexibility and adaptability to respond to changes in the tourism market
• Leadership by an experienced Executive Officer and Visitor Service Manager
• Additional LGA physical and human resources and support
• Organisational structure and operation consistent with the LGSEA tourism initiative

IMPROVED DESTINATION MARKETING

• Increase visitation into the region (domestically and internationally) through a consolidated and larger destination marketing budget and well targeted marketing and engagement strategies
• Unified brand with strong strategy backed by market research
• Substantially increased destination marketing budget
• A single destination website and increased focus on digital marketing
• Additional increasing income stream for marketing fund

DELIVERY OF A BETTER VISITOR EXPERIENCE

• Increased dispersal and visitor engagement throughout the region from three visitor centres working together under a consistent brand, goal set and direction
• More consistent sub-regional messaging with one website, social media, map and guide
• Reduced confusion through removal of “invisible” boundaries
• One website, Visitor Guide, Map and other online channels
• More knowledgeable staff through increased famils and cross-training