GOIN’ Off Safaris owner and operator David Doudle was among more than 26 speakers at the South Australian Tourism Industry Council’s annual tourism conference last week.
The conference presented insights into the challenges, opportunities and changes affecting the tourism industry and how it is best able to manage them.
Mr Doudle said he never expected to be asked to present at the conference but found it a valuable experience.
To us catching a crayfish or some abalone and cooking it on the beach isn’t luxury, that’s just what we do but to other people it is.
He said he presented on luxury food and wine tourism and was used as “a bit of a case study”.
“So the questions I spoke to were ‘can we really bring the uber wealthy to SA? And how important is food and wine to their experiences?’,” he said.
Mr Doudle said he was also part of an interactive panel answering questions from the audience.
“I guess I wondered why we were going down that path because what we do here, I don’t consider that luxury,” he said.
“To us catching a crayfish or some abalone and cooking it on the beach isn’t luxury, that’s just what we do but to other people it is.”
He said while each region had its own unique food and wine offerings what stood out was how that was being promoted.
Mr Doudle said the promotion of Port Lincoln and the Eyre Peninsula was “lacking”.
“Our local councils aren’t pushing it, in almost every other region the councils are working on tourism and promoting what they have to offer.”
“We are still doing well but we are just a bit behind the eight-ball on that,” he said.
Mr Doudle said his presentation was well received and from the feedback it did seem as though the tourism industry was aware of what was happening on Eyre Peninsula.
“I think everyone is realising there is more to do in SA than visit Kangaroo Island,” he said.
He said the response after his presentation and panel appearance was good.
Mr Doudle said one of the biggest takeaways was the need for collaboration between councils and tourism operators.
“We need more and more people promoting the region as a destination.”