The Hinterland Committee thought it was timely to give members an update on what is happening in local tourism services in early 2021 as we try to get back to ‘business normal’ after the disruptions of COVID-19. We spoke to Anne-Marie Haluszka, the Coordinator of Tourism Services at the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Tourism team.
After a 2017 restructure, tourism now sits within the Innovation and Advocacy Unit – currently headed by Andrew Wood who is acting while Tania Treasure is away on sick leave – along with the Innovation & Advocacy and Economic Development teams.
There are six permanent members in the tourism unit, along with three casual visitor information centre officers and around 35 visitor information centre volunteers.
Visitor Services & Industry Development Officer: Allison McCrindle
Visitor Services Officer: Lisa Caddy
Business Events Officer: Kathryn Gilbert
Tourism Marketing Officers: Katherine Cooper & Rachel Doyle (covering maternity leave for Ebony Flett)
Coordinator Tourism Services: Anne-Marie Haluszka
Relationship with the Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism Board (MPRTB)
Despite the corporate restructure, the core function of the tourism unit has remained the same since its inception in the late 1990s. That being, to provide visitor services, tourism marketing and industry development.
The relationship of the tourism team to the MRTB is to offer support in implementing marketing and industry development programs
MPRTB is a skills based board made up of members with specialisation in tourism, media, marketing and government, in addition to tourism sector specific expertise. Its vision is ‘to be recognised as Victoria’s premium escape destination, renowned for its nature, lifestyle and gourmet food, wine and craft brewing/distilling experiences.’
To achieve this vision, the MPRT works under the five key strategic platforms:
Investment Attraction, Destination Management, Industry Development, Destination Marketing and Advocacy.
Projects for 2021
In addition to ongoing projects with with the MPRTB, the tourism team is working on programs with other Shire departments including:
The Best Bites program: showcasing excellence in local food business
The Support Local campaign: encouraging the community to consider how they spend, recommend and utilise local services
Arts + Culture trail projects
Business Round Table Event: talking to local business and industry about challenges and opportunities for post Covid-19 recovery
Update on the tourism services review
The planned tourism services review was put on hold last year as COVID-19 strategies took precedence for the tourism team, but the they are now in a position to continue this work. Hinterland Tourism will keep members updated on progress as it comes to hand.