Artificial intelligence helps tourism marketers communicate and connect with simplicity: Destination Australia Conference 2017 wrap

Ad agency Creative Director Ken Segall only got beaten up twice by Apple’s Steve Jobs during the 12 years he worked for him. I suspect he means figuratively, but the message was clear; genius behind one of the world’s most successful companies Apple though he was, Jobs was a mercurial character whose vision was unimpeachable. Continue reading

Thought for today

planet-earth-lowtouch-banner We know more about how to solve wicked problems than we ever have in history. We also have an awareness of this ability.  Humanity has the good fortune and responsibility to other species with whom we coexist to take that seriously and be excited by what we can achieve in our assumed stewardship of the blue planet.

Everything’s amazing! But is Byron Bay too much of a good thing?

Along with thousands of other residents and holiday makers, I went to the beach in Byron Bay  on a heaven on a stick summer’s day in early January.  As we’ve done for the past 8 years most summer Sundays, we take our daughters to ‘Nippers’,  run by Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club. For the uninitiated, it’s beach and water safety education for kids. It’s an inspired way to begin Sunday: wake up with a swim, watch your kids build confidence and have fun in the ocean. If you’re civic minded, you can help out with the sausage sizzle, in the canteen or sport an orange rashie on water safety duty. (This is my personal fave,  as it comes with the benefit of being able to commandeer a rescue ski and watch proceedings from waterside with an air of assumed authority). Read the full story by Russell Mills first published on Common Ground Australia

Big thanks to Dan Kelly for the use of his song/video.




Golden Trifecta of Excellent Tourism Experiences

Lets Go Surfing Australia  team celebrate gold at 2016 NSW Tourism Awards

Lets Go Surfing Australia team celebrate gold at 2016 NSW Tourism Awards

Surfer Rosa clients Lets Go Surfing Australia,  Byron Bay Bluesfest and Auswalk Walking Holidays were acknowledged for their business excellence each winning gold in their respective categories in the  2016 New South Wales and Victorian Tourism Awards events in Sydney and Melbourne last night.

Lets Go Surfing Australia run surf schools in Sydney and Byron Bay and have been teaching thousands of visitors from Australia and overseas how to have fun, connect with nature and challenge themselves through the adventure of learning to surf for 21 years. They took out the gold award for adventure tourism in New South Wales.

Auswalk is a family owned Australian tourism business based in Victoria offering 43 guided and self-guided walking holidays in many of Australia’s most popular and recognised areas of natural beauty.  Winning gold  for adventure tourism in Victoria, their walking experiences give guests the chance to unplug, escape the daily grind and explore Australia’s greatest natural landscapes the healthy way.

Byron Bay Bluesfest is Australia’s premier blues and roots music festival.  Winning gold for Major Festivals and Events in New South Wales, the  much loved Easter weekend festival has presented a staggering array of contemporary and legendary artists from the blues, roots and myriad sub genres for 27 years.  It’s history runs parallel to Byron Bay’s  evolution into an iconic destination renowned for vibrant arts and creativity around the world.

Each business was judged in highly competitive categories on tourism excellence, business planning, marketing, staff development and sustainability. Surfer Rosa Communications wrote and prepared their submissions in close consultation with each business.

What they all have in common is a commitment to delivering superlative memorable experiences. We are just delighted that these fantastic tourism and event businesses  and valued clients have been recognised for excellence, and to have played a role in telling their story to stand out amongst the judging panels and industry peers.

Over The Dunes November


Love music? Check out the songs inspiring us right now on our Spotify playlist. If you’re reading this, then you’re on our latest news page,  so pop over to our  home page,  scroll down a little and you’ll find it in the sidebar on the left. Click play on any song, and you’re away*.  Enjoy!

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Gold Coast unearths ‘Global Locals’ to deliver the best guest experience for Commonwealth Games 2018


Going Up: Elevator shaft view of Q1 Resort and Spa, Surfers Paradise, venue for the Gold Coast Be My Guest Program workshops.

The Queensland Government and City of Gold Coast ‘Be My Guest’ initiative supports the efforts of Gold Coast businesses to enhance their standards of quality service for visitors coming to the city  in the lead up to, and including, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

I attended a Be My Guest Program workshop today along with tourism, hospitality and retail business representatives delivered by TravConsult, specialists in Asian market insights for aviation, tourism & retail development and official training providers of the Be My Guest Program. The program aims to transform the Gold Coast’s service industry  standards from customer service as a necessary function to a guest experience based on empathy, engagement, and  highly personalised engagement with guests who will visit in the lead up to and during the Commonwealth Games.  Central to the effort is the notion of Global Locals, someone whose experiences in the wider world crystalises their passion for the place they choose to live, work and play. This can be anyone from a high profile athlete, entrepreneur or creator to a junior cafe kitchen hand.

Famous for fun, sun and surf, the Gold Coast has no shortage of well known sporting ambassadors from former world Ironman champion Trevor Hendy to world champion surfers Mick Fanning and Stephanie Gilmore who have articulated their love for the Gold Coast as global locals.

It was inspiring to hear from another ‘global local’ Professor Mark von Itzstein, Director & Principal Research Leader of Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics. A Gold Coast local, Professor von Itzstein hasa distinguished science and academic career and worked in Europe and Melbourne whose body of work is a multidisciplinary approach to drug and vaccine discovery research. They are fighting diseases of global impact and are currently working on a cure for human malaria.

Dr von Itzstein reflected on his vision to create a base for scientific research to flourish in the Gold Coast, known principally for its tourism industry, casinos, high rise living, surf beaches and theme parks. While these are critical to the city’s prosperity and central to the visitor experience, developing a broader based of industry specialisation and a reputation for  scientific research excellence is a microcosm for Australia’s need to excel and innovate beyond the sporting field and the exploitation of mineral riches.

The Gold Coast and Australia can be proud of this groundbreaking work, and should capitalise on the opportunity that the Commonwealth Games presents to showcase cerebral excellence to visitors,  athletes, sponsors, investors and government officials –  all guests – from around the globe in 2018.


Exploring Australia’s Greatest Landscapes the Healthy Way with Auswalk

Auswalk Walking Holidays have published a brilliant video to promote their range of guided and self-guided walks across Australia’s superlative natural landscapes.

Their goal was  to create an authentic visual portrayal of what their walking holiday experiences are about. We think their choice of using real customers instead of actors paid off. You can see and hear the passion and genuine appreciation these customers have in the experience Auswalk provided them. Seamlessly combining comfort and adventure, Auswalk operate self-guided and guided walks in all states.

I’ve travelled with them on their Great Ocean Walk and Roof of Australia walk. You hear the clack and roll of river stones in a flowing creek or the whisper of long grass yielding to your steps , feel the crunch of gravel and snap of twigs underfoot, smell the eucalyptus, wild thyme, ocean and honeysuckle and ultimately benefit from being fully immersed in nature with the feeling of being recharged and rejuvenated. Auswalk really do deliver on the promise to unplug,  unwind and be inspired by Australia’s majestic landscapes with every sense. Highly recommended!

Capturing the Romance Of Rail

Great Southern Rail have nailed it with this promotional video for The Ghan, Australia’s quintessential outback journey. Vast majestic landscapes, the sense of place and history, the powerful mechanics,  the grand outback journey, and wonderfully authentic and evocative narrative from passionate young tourism and hospitality professionals. Well done GSR!