Quality climbs tourism agenda

Quality climbs tourism agenda
By admin

Tourism businesses are placing more emphasis on offering consistently high quality experiences as consumer reviews make “faking it” a thing of the past, according to a tourism executive.

Speaking to Travel Today as celebrity chef Matt Moran launched the T-QUAL Tick Race campaign at his Aria restaurant in Sydney this morning, Tourism Australia's general manager destination development Craig Davidson said the accreditation scheme is helping to develop a sense of consistency in the industry, with customer feedback a vital part of the program.

"Because of feedback from people who are able to freely share their experiences, operators know they can't fake it these days, they have got to be able to deliver," he said. "We're starting to see a level of consistency throughout the industry."

Service delivery is an important component of the quality benchmark, but Davidson highlighted the role of other aspects such as the quality of structure and entertainment.

"We talk about service a lot but ultimately we've got a very strong industry with great people," he said. "We need to start talking positively about the industry always, and the Tick helps you to do that."

Since the program's launch in mid-2011, 13,000 tourism products have been awarded the Tick with the industry "embracing" the scheme, according to Davidson.

"Ultimately it's an industry-led scheme and the industry has to embrace it or else it wouldn't go anywhere," he added.

Meanwhile, consumers are also becoming increasingly aware of the symbol and its meaning.

T-QUAL Accreditation project manager Antonia Sherry revealed that last year, T-QUAL achieved 15% awareness in the domestic market against a target of 5%.

Although only being marketed domestically, the campaign's message is also being spread internationally via trade partners, and also through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and TripAdvisor which have global reach.

The Tick Race is also expected to reach international audiences as three Australian bloggers race around Australia to visit some of the country's tourism experiences which are endorsed with a T-QUAL Tick.

Natalie Birt of Mummy Smiles, Caz Makepeace of YTravel and Sarah of A Beach Cottage will share their experiences through their social networks over an eight-day period.

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