Vail Mayor Dick Cleveland from Colorado will travel to Hervey Bay in May to speak at a symposium recognising regional excellence.
Vail Mayor Dick Cleveland from Colorado will travel to Hervey Bay in May to speak at a symposium recognising regional excellence. Submitted

Top tourism township shares tips

ONE OF the most successful regional townships in North America will bring their skills to the Fraser Coast in a national symposium aimed at creating a better tourism market for regional areas.

Members of the small Colorado town of Vail will join Australian guest speakers at the inaugural Creating Special Places Symposium hosted by Regional Innovations in Hervey Bay.

Vail has a population of only 5000 people but successfully catered for more than 2 million visitors in 2010 and received almost 20,000 flights to their ski resorts.

It is one of the most popular ski destinations in the US and is renowned for its successful summer program of food, sporting and music events.

Regional Innovations approached Vail town planners in November to come to Australia after the company were blown away by a visit to the town.

Vail Mayor Dick Cleveland said he was excited to join his own council officers, several Australian university professors and the CEO of the UDIA at the two day event.

Mr Cleveland told Regional Innovations the town was keen to learn from the Fraser Coast.

“If you are anything like us, you are so self critical it often takes someone new to see what is right about our town,” he said.

“We have a lot in common with the Fraser Coast and a lot to offer each other.”

Regional Innovations spokesman Mark Woodberry said the two communities could learn a lot from each other.

“We’re excited that we’ve managed to get such a high quality community,” he said.

Interstate visitors have already snapped up tickets to the event despite little national marketing.

Mr Woodberry said many international speakers had expressed interest in speaking at the symposium.

“From this you could probably take away some good ideas for your own areas,” he said.

Mr Woodberry said Vail’s Antlers Hotel general manager Rob Levine would also hold a workshop on the importance of customer service.

The Creating Special Places through Regional Leadership will be held at the University of Southern Queensland’s Hervey Bay campus on May 25-26.

Places to the symposium are strictly limited to 100 so guests and speakers can interact, with only 40 tickets left.

Visit www.regionalinnovations.org.



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