The aim of the QTIC Tourism Disruptive Technologies Project is to develop a digital workforce and training plan for the Queensland tourism industry that identifies gaps in digital uptake among industry members, the impact and implication of new technology on the industry, and the opportunities that technology presents to enhance destination experiences.
 
The Queensland Tourism Workforce Plan identifies that the tourism industry is comprised of 51,276 businesses. The tourism industry employs more than 225,000 people both directly and indirectly. Whilst the clusters of tourism businesses and employment are greatest in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Cairns, two thirds of people directly employed in tourism are employed outside the Brisbane region. The businesses across the tourism industry range from transport companies, hotel chains, theme parks and retail stores, to family owned visitor attractions and cafes.

The industry identifies a shift towards the use of digital technology by consumers in the conceptualisation, planning and sharing of their travel experiences. Recent research indicates that 53% of connected consumers would consider themselves “lost” without the internet (Euromonitor, 2018). Due to increasing consumer demand, there is an increasing need for tourism employees and business operators to have skills in digital technology to support the connection with visitors across all stages of their planning and journey life cycles.

To understand the current position of the digital competencies of the tourism industry, QTIC has secured funding through the Queensland Government's Training in Emerging and Innovative Industries Fund. The project will include consultation across all 13 tourism regions, with a sample of small, medium and large employers across the state, to establish a Queensland Tourism Digital Workforce Plan that identifies the: 
  • extent of current engagement with digital technologies among operators and employees; 
  • current workforce skills needs and current skills deficiencies; 
  • impacts and implications the introduction of digital technologies has had on the workforce; 
  • technologies that promote opportunities in efficiencies and economic benefits to operators and state GSP; 
  • technologies that offer opportunities to enhance customer attraction, access, experiences and satisfaction; 
  • likely return on investment at varying stages of embracing digital technology;  
  • reason for digital technology adoption and the outcomes of introduction; 
  • barriers to implementation; 
  • opportunities for businesses and regions. 
On completion of the Queensland Tourism Digital Workforce Plan QTIC will provide the following deliverables to the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training: 
  • case studies of successful engagement with digital technologies:
  • a report of skills needs related to digital technologies and opportunities for funded training. 
Furthermore, QTIC will provide recommendations related to: 
  • VET investment; 
  • non-accredited training opportunities.
Another important outcome of this work will be to identify preferred supplier digital technology providers and support networks that can service the tourism industry that will: 
  1. increase attraction through digital marketing; 
  2. increase bookings through automation; 
  3. increase occupancy, consumer spend and state GSP; 
  4. improve consumer experiences; 
  5. promote entrepreneurship and innovation with the tourism industry; 
  6. create jobs through enhanced engagement opportunities.  
Implementing digital technologies involves major investment, long-term decisions, and time – all of which the SMEs across the tourism industry consider lacking. However, the benefits of competitiveness create global opportunities for business growth. Through understanding and addressing the skills needs within the industry, these businesses' weaknesses will be able to be addressed.

For more information contact Kathryn Moody on 07 3236 1445 or Kathryn.Moody@qtic.com.au