Travel DAZE is just around the corner (9 June 2022!!) and we have a stellar line-up for the day!
One of the incredible speakers at Travel DAZE is Anna Marsden, the managing director at the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. We caught up with her to discuss purposeful travel, saving coral reefs, and unwinding on a nice long haul flight.
But before you check out this incredible interview with Marsden, click HERE to get your tickets to this industry-leading conference.
Just enter the number of tickets you’re after, enter the access code “AGENT100” plus just a few particulars, and it’s Travel DAZE here you come!
TW: What are your key priorities for 2022 and beyond?
AM: We’re sitting in a critical decade for coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef. So, for everyone in our team, what’s our top priority at the moment is just to deliver some breakthroughs in how we can rebuild or regenerate coral reefs at scale so that we can give them a bright future.
TW: What are the biggest trends and opportunities in the industry at the moment?
I think the biggest trend that I started to see against the backdrop of COVID – but now it’s so amazing to see coming alive – is purposeful travel.
People are really being more considerate tourists and ensuring that where they choose to travel, how they travel, what they choose to do while they visit or experience a country or destination, and the footprint they leave behind, is all intertwining and I think that’s pretty spectacular to witness.
TW: What do you see as the biggest threat to the global travel industry right now?
It’s probably about competition. I think the reality is everyone on the planet is dreaming of where they want to travel right now.
So, how do we ensure that we can get as many of those people to come and visit Australia and look at our remarkable nation? I think that’s the critical thing. How do we make sure that we’re on the top of potential travellers’ minds?
TW: What’s the one thing you’d like Australian travel agents to know about what the future of travel looks like?
I want them to keep the story and how they position and connect Australia and its amazing destinations to visitors alive.
I think the story that we had of selling Australia, four or five years ago is different to Australia today. Now we see with the Great Barrier Reef there’s a conservation story and a conservation experience which is an amazing experience in which we can connect people to a destination.
You never want a destination to be static, you want them to keep the experience and the idea and how people can engage with a place alive which I think is what is really powerful right now.
TW: What are some of your concerns about the future of the travel industry?
I’m not in the sector, so I probably have a different view, but I think everyone has concerns about confidence and whether we have enough space to build momentum to get back to where we were. What we really want is for everybody to get back on a plane and visit the reef, we know that’s really powerful to our work, and to our conservation efforts.
We don’t want another disruption, we don’t want another variant of COVID coming out, we want people to travel and make their forward plans and go back to visiting their bucket list. My concern is that we won’t be able to maintain this.
TW: What do you do to relax?
I have to say, it’s hard to relax with the job that I have. I’ve got my first long haul flight coming back coming up to London in two weeks time and I used to always find that those long haul flights were the best time to unwind because no one could call me and I could watch movies and eat great food.
I have to say, I’m really looking forward to time hopping on a long haul flight. I think Australians say that that’s how they unwind, a long flight.