29 July 2019
From a hashtag campaign to get residents sharing stories of their best life on social media to a digital postcard app, tourism students from USC have devised fresh solutions to real-life industry challenges in the Fraser Coast.
Now there is potential for some of these University assignments to be implemented locally as part of a new partnership between USC, industry, Fraser Coast Regional Council and community event organisers.
USC Lecturer in Tourism, Leisure and Event Management Dr Shahab Pourfakhimi said the scheme challenged the third-year students to devise practical and sustainable marketing solutions to tourism-related issues in the region.
“We had students create campaigns using hashtags and mobile apps for the Council to stimulate tourism numbers by targeting residents to motivate their friends and family to visit the region,” Dr Pourfakhimi said.
“Others worked on online marketing initiatives for Palace Adventure to address a dwindling European backpacker market,” he said.
“Another student devised a strategy to manage the impact of event-related road closures on local small businesses alongside the route of the Hervey Bay 100 Triathlon.”
Students recently pitched their marketing initiatives to stakeholders with Principal Economic Development Officer with Fraser Coast Regional Council Jarrod Delahunty saying he was impressed by their potential.
“The initiatives the students have come up with are fantastic, especially the innovation of using social media to encourage visitation from the friends and relatives market,” Mr Delahunty said.
“I will be taking these proposals to management to review as I believe this is a real opportunity to help encourage population and visitor growth, which are key areas that Council is focused on.”
Dr Pourfakhimi said the partnership allowed students to work with experienced business leaders and local decision-makers and gain valuable feedback and insights.
“It offered a rich, practical learning opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge and use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to solve real-life issues,” he said.
The final assessment for the Tourism, Technology and Innovation subject included creating and pitching comprehensive marketing presentations to stakeholders.