An online library of digital assets was the main attraction as the Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell officially launched the Open All Year project at Dudley Wines Cellar Door.

Members of the Kangaroo Island Industry and Brand Alliance (KIIBA) and Tourism Kangaroo Island (TKI) were invited to a sneak preview of the Open All Year portal, which will be launched to the public at a ‘Launch and Learn’ session on Wednesday, September 21.

Minister Bignell said Kangaroo Island was particularly important to the State’s tourism strategy.

“And to see the collaborative work being done here with the industry groups and all levels of government is really impressive,” he said.

The Open All Year project is a $300,000 project funded by the State Government to change the mind-set around seasonal tourism and promote Kangaroo Island as an all-year destination.

Project sponsor Craig Wickham said Open All Year’s mission was to improve visitation to Kangaroo Island in the ‘off season’, to improve financial outcomes for businesses on Kangaroo Island.

Benefits and outcomes anticipated:

  • Creating critical mass to encourage businesses to stay open throughout the year;
  • Improving visitor experiences mid-year;
  • Creating a more stable employment environment for job seekers and businesses, which in turn provides economic boosts to service businesses, retailers, housing; and
  • Better year-round support for transport, accommodation and experiences.

How are we achieving this:

  • Visitor education about the benefits of visiting mid-year – tools have included seasonal messaging through the ‘Authentic Kangaroo Island’ social medial platforms of the Kangaroo Island Social Media Alliance; working with SATC to understand the seasonal benefits;
  • Operator development to change the mind-set about promoting mid-year benefits – tools have included workshops to challenge business to think about improving their mid-year offering; one-on-one mentoring for business owners; improving the digital presentation of businesses to better reflect seasonality; and
  • Travel agent education about the mid-year offering – through SATC, participation in the recent Tourism Australia trade visit to India.

A major tool to assist in all of these areas is the Open All Year portal, which will house a bank of free-to-use assets such as photographs, fact sheets and videos. “It’s about encouraging our businesses to tell their own seasonal story about Kangaroo Island. We all know the Island has highlights year-round and we need to communicate that to the world,” Mr Wickham said.

The Open All Year portal “Launch and Learn” session on September 21 will be followed by a detailed workshop that afternoon by digital professionals Tourism Tribe, to help businesses make the most of their digital presence on websites and social media. The $110 fee for this three-hour session includes a one-year subscription to Tourism Tribe’s digital support services and is open to all businesses, not just tourism.