Queensland Tourism Industry Council marked World Tourism Day last week with a celebration of the resilience of the industry and drew attention to tourism operators like Mount Isa Rodeo who have innovated during the pandemic.
Rodeo officials addressed the QTIC World Tourism Day Breakfast on Friday in Brisbane with 150 people in attendance telling them about their world first virtual rodeo.
CEO Mount Isa Rodeo Natalie Flecker said the live stream attracted more than 15,000 views, equating to 270,666 hours being watched and the result was innovative, imaginative and established itself on the world stage.
"When COVID-19 event and travel restrictions forced the cancellation of the 2020 Isa Rodeo, Isa Rodeo Inc set about creating a virtual experience to keep the event alive for competitors, sponsors, fans and spectators," Ms Flecker said.
"Moving into a virtual space created an opportunity for our organisation to increase our technology platform to allow for event nominations, data collection and finally the live stream platform to host the broadcast of the event for 2020."
Ms Flecker said the integration of the event's website, traditional and digital media, partner databases and competitions and promotions have helped grow the event's profile and social media audience, which will be valuable in the years ahead.
"As an organisation, we will be looking integrate a virtual series into the future whether it be a hybrid concept with our live event in the arena or a standalone series that runs alongside the iconic event held in Mount Isa," she said.
QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said tourism workers and business operators had to step up during this devastating time to keep businesses afloat and plan for a disrupted future.
"Yet again our industry had to demonstrate its capacity to adapt to changing circumstances," Mr Gschwind said.
"We are impressed by what has been achieved and pleased to tell some of those stories of business resilience in tourism".
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said tourism was a major focus of the Palaszczuk Government's economic recovery strategy.
"Tourism is absolutely vital to Queensland's economy. I've seen first-hand how tourism operators have struggled throughout this pandemic," Ms Jones said.
"To date, the government has invested more than half-a-billion dollars to support struggling tourism operators throughout the state."
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