TEQ Blueprint - Tourism and Events Queensland CEO, Patricia O'Callaghan
Thank you for that Brett and I know probably a majority of us are here to see the panel but you're going to have to sit through Andrew and I first. And we are here today to talk about our TEQ Blueprint and our pathway to 2032 and I want to acknowledge what our Chair said, I think today is about keeping our eyes on the horizon. I think all of us can see there is a buzz and momentum in our industry post-COVID. I think it's about never forgetting what we've been through and what we've learned in the past few years but now is the time to unashamedly focus on our future and this is the Blueprint that was developed over the past five months by listening to you our industry, listening to our government and drawing on some of the best minds both domestically and globally. We've tried to keep it very simple, very succinct and very clear to ensure that what we put to you today gives us a pathway forward but gives us some flexibility to evolve and adapt with our changing environment. You told us it was time to draw on the best of what this industry stands for but it
is also time to think very differently and I want to hopefully you will see that we are taking a lot of those elements forward with us today. So just a quick journey, a quick recap on the journey. At the end of last year, the Queensland Government launched the 2032 Towards Tourism strategy. As part of this strategy, our industry adopted a really ambitious goal of increasing from a $28 billion dollar economy to a $44 billion dollar one by 2032 and now that is no mean feat. This target is not solely owned by TEQ but it was really important to acknowledge that there will be a need for increased supply, increased rooms and increased aviation seats. But from a TEQ point of view, it was important for us to give you some insight and what does our role look like within this aspiration and how are we going to generate demand. To assist with achieving these goals as
the Minister noted the Premier and the Minister in this year's budget confirmed that we would be given certainty on our budget for the next four years, $125 million which is an increase on our current base over the next term. As part of that confirmation, we would deliver a TEQ Blueprint to provide a clear strategy to government and to you our industry on how we would invest those funds and how we would achieve those goals and there was then an opportunity to review our own organisational structure so that we could ensure that we are delivering upon that strategy. So a full strategic and structural review in five months is certainly no easy task especially when I had committed to all of you before I'd started that I'd be on the road and see every Queensland destination in one hundred days. But I can say that the Board and I and the team are so excited about this. We certainly grabbed the opportunity and we're really pleased and confident on where it's landed today and excited that the Minister launched the Blueprint at Estimates and we can share some further information with you our industry. So over the past five months, we've been engaging extensively with all of our stakeholders to seek feedback from you on where you want to take our industry and there were certainly some common themes coming up.
It didn't matter whether I was in Gladstone or Longreach or up in Townsville or in Cairns. There were some themes and I want to share them with you today. You were saying to us that you were excited about the $44 billion target, it's tangible and we can aim and be accountable for it but you want to know what that looks like across the state and in every destination. You said to us that there was an opportunity to further align our marketing and our event strategies. How do we use our events to drive further visitation in those shoulder periods and low seasons as well as drive them to each of our regions. You want to see that our events are being used as a very strong platform to promote
our Queensland brand and you also wanted to see TEQ have a more active role in business events. You said to us that it was time to think globally about our events calendar and that we needed to look at identifying what were those events in our portfolio that can increase their global reach in key particular markets but you did want us to never forget the Queensland portfolio and some of those smaller homegrown events that are quintessentially Queensland and so important to us as a brand. You told us you wanted to see us invest in more powerful marketing partnerships and you want us to be more commercial and that it was a huge opportunity to align with some major private sector brands that have some mutual goals but can extend our reach both domestically and globally. You said to us that the experience and industry development was an important part of our role moving forward and whilst it was a little confusing and messy through COVID with so many agencies playing in this space you saw us having a key role in this and you didn't want us to leave that experience development side. You strongly said to us that we cannot approach
our international market re-entry as business as usual. You said that the re-entry strategy needed a lot more shoe leather in market, in key destinations than ever before, since COVID. You said that there were so many more internationally ready programs and products across the state but we needed to get this message out because the global market was looking for what was existing but importantly what was new. But we had to find a way to disperse these visitors throughout the
state. And you strongly said to us our airports had to be key to our international strategy. You also said to us it can't always be about the Queensland brand and that the destination brands for some markets was even more powerful than the word Queensland and I say to you today that we agree with you but there is a need to clarify when and where and which markets are those brands used but importantly how they are a gateway to the rest of the state. We also received feedback from you that our partnerships were critical to where we are going and that there was an opportunity to align further with our Department of Tourism, with QTIC, with our RTOs and with industry as a whole and this model needed to be more coordinated with it well in advanced plans and in-market engagement programs that you can hopefully participate in as well. And finally, you told us if there was ever a time in our history, now is the time to be bigger, bolder and more aggressive. These words came up across the state a lot and you said to us it's
time to think big, think different, go out with some bold initiatives and that you'd be there backing us as well because if we ever had ambition now is the time. So you gave us a lot of feedback in the last five months and to consolidate that all in a plan was challenging but also exciting and I want to say to you this is our vision now. We are certainly going to inspire our travellers to choose Queensland first. We will do it through bold and globally recognised marketing and events and we will never forget that the end game is to grow to $44 billion by 2032. So how are we going
to do that. Well it's a five-point plan and I want to take you through what that looks like today. So let's start with point one. We're going to gain the dominant share of Australia's domestic holiday market. This priority is born out of the fact that we can feel that this is the area that we can most influence and measure and no matter what is happening in the world, no matter how good things are, or how bad things get, what we would know is that Queensland wants the most of it and we want the greatest share of whatever is available. The domestic market is our bread and
butter. It is 70 per cent of our OVE and it's where a lot of our business comes from but the reality is pre-COVID it has been on a declining trajectory. The COVID recovery has step changed this and we now need to hold this because prior to that the last time we held the dominant market share was 2012. So as a key holiday destination we need to flex our muscles and hold this space.
How we're going to do it, we're going to look at our global marketing strategy. We are going to build our competitive advantage around activating the travel for good brand and we have to harness the opportunities around responsible travel. Our global marketing strategy will tell the story of Queensland, it will open up and give you indications of our key markets and our approach to experience design and you will see in this global marketing strategy our events portfolio playing a very big role in sharing our Queensland brand. We're also going to put as much focus on conversion as what we are brand. Queensland is the holiday state of Australia. The intent to visit it is high domestically but the research shows there is a been there done that mentality. So we need to get the message out on what is new, what is existing but what are those hidden gems across the state and to do this we need to dial up our commercial and aviation partnerships. So
our airline and our retail partners domestically are key and we will have a major announcement in the next couple of weeks on how we turn that into a tangible outcome for all of you to enjoy. We're also going to dial up our innovative use of digital and data to ensure that we're giving consumers relevant timely information and maximizing conversion at every opportunity. We are also going to start sharing this intel and research with you in a really timely manner so you too have the best access to data to shape your own businesses and your own industries.
We are also going to take a renewed approach to experience development because this is so critical if we're going to play in this space and we are marketing promises to consumers, that it is also then being delivered on the ground by our operators. So there will be a very distinct connection between our global marketing strategy and our experience design. The Best of Queensland will remain with us as, well as the Transformational Experiences Mentoring programs but we also want to see a lot of you get trade ready and that's where our connection with our RTOs is key. I also want to say to you you will see us have a very strong focus on our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, our Great Barrier Reef, our nature based and sustainable tourism offerings, and our accessibility and inclusion. But we're also going to start talking about our food and beverage because Queensland is ready for the world to start talking about its food and beverage. And off-script here a little bit but when I started travelling the state it
didn't matter whether I was in the Granite Belt, which has some of the most beautiful wines and I know Pete you're here. They're going to take on the Borossa and I think they will but you know and then I was on the Sunny Coast. They've got more beer breweries than anywhere else in the country and the seafood up north it's just all there but we need to start sharing that story. And that's just getting started because then we now need to move into our international markets and this is going to take a lot more effort and time but we're going to nearly double by 2032 and we're going to have to do that with a partnership approach because there is certainly no way TEQ can do this alone. So this is where our Department of Tourism and it's so great to have Andrew here,
backed with our Queensland Airports who are all here as well, that we do need to further leverage the Aviation Attraction Fund and we will continue to lead our aviation marketing partnerships but we have to do more in this space and what we're going to do is coordinate our international marketing and engagement plans like you asked us to and Pip it's so great to have you here from a Tourism Australia point of view, dovetailing into that, working with our RTO plans and our industry. We are going to also bring and you will see tourism become part of our trade narrative more and more and more prominently than ever before. I know I see Justin in the front and the CEO of Trade and Invest Queensland. Our teams have been working together and what I say to you that is our partnership with TIQ is going to be critical and that we don't just need to fill the tops of the planes we need to fill the bottoms of the planes and we need to fill the front. So
in the next few weeks we are going to release our joint international engagement calendar that will tackle TIQ and TEQ will be tackling some key markets together. China is certainly one of them. This is our largest international market pre-COVID and we need those half a million visitors back. But I also want to say to you we will be tackling some emerging destinations and
India is one of those markets that will start to take priority and I know the Treasurer and the Minister announced yesterday the Queensland-India trade and investment strategy, highlighting our Government's commitment to making the most of this emerging market. We're also going to be looking at other global trade shows and I mentioned as well I know TIQ is heavily involved in Expo 2025 in Osaka. Another great opportunity for Queensland to connect with the Japanese market and it is important for you to be for us to be giving you these opportunities so you can also dovetail in. Our forecasted growth is due to come from China, New Zealand, Japan, US, UK, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany and India. And a more targeted and coordinated approach across government and then
to you as our industry is going to be a focus and you will see that in our international engagement plan when we release it in a few weeks. These priority markets that I mentioned account for $7.4 billion of our OVE in 2032 or 70 per cent of our international OVE. So we need to be really smart about how we approach these markets. And I want to say to you that we need to start travelling
together in numbers and hunting in a pack again we have seen it since COVID and I know we were doing it pre-COVID but when I started this role there was a national tourism leader that said to me, one of the things about Queensland it is renowned for in the industry is the army that we have across the state from the top to the bottom, we hunt in packs and we really need to ensure that we're deploying our resources together overseas because trying to win these markets back is going to be no easy feat. But I can tell you when we hunt as a pack we are absolutely formidable and finally we're going to support our international gateways and we are going to disperse and use these gateways to disperse across the state. Now we have to unashamably back our international airports that are across the state. I know we have a number and I know some
of us look at that as there's too many. Well I would say that they're there, they're strong and we need to support them in their ambitions because if we can use them to get our visitors to enter and nearly 80 per cent of our international visitors in the state come through these gateways. If we can get them to disperse across the state I think that's exceptionally powerful. We need to hold these visitors in Queensland as long as possible and the reality is our international markets are multi-stop travellers. So if we can take another night, from another
state or importantly increase the number of nights to Australia as a whole, I think I would say to us why not and I think it's all about increasing this overall for our visitors to enjoy. Our event space is really cool and we're excited to build a two billion dollar events calendar from $800 million and where it stands today and we're super excited about where this is going. Brisbane 2032 is going to be a really great opportunity for the state and we are currently putting together a green and gold runway of sporting, cultural and business events that will drive visitation and brand awareness. This pipeline is being done right at this moment and hopefully some exciting announcements are out around some of those early wins coming to you soon. But we also need to do more and our event strategy is going to give us a good pathway and I know we've got a number of our big events and smaller events here today so I say to you that we're going to use our event investment programs to provide a pathway for some of our iconic homegrown events to further grow and shine and for those that want to go global we'll certainly be there. We will be identifying those events that have global potential and ways that we can further support that to extend our reach not just from a marketing point of view but from an events and visitor point of view as well.
We are also going to be looking at those events that we can further festivalise and our event strategy will show those ones that will that we're hoping to increase length of stay and also market what else is happening in and around those events which is so important. I know Harvey Lister is here and he's got a very famous saying of do you want fries with that and I think you will see that reflected in our event strategy because these are huge opportunities to keep people in region longer and I look at the FIFA World Cup and some of what those visitors are experiencing at the moment and it's pretty cool. I want to talk to you about Stadiums Queensland and I know Todd the CEO is here as well. And I want to say to you that we are going to coordinate, Stadiums obviously owns and manages a number of venues across the state and we are looking to coordinate our partnership with them, with those destinations that house those stadiums to have a really strong shared agenda and if we can pool our funds to attract more, then you will certainly be seeing that and I'm really excited about some of that that will hopefully talk to you all in the coming week and months. I want to talk to you as well about our business events and you said to us you want to see us have a more active role in this space, so we're certainly going to do that and our business event strategy is being finalised and it's so great to see that. Once that is we're going to also align our resources with a renewed focus. Our business
event sector is critical to filling Monday and Thursday. It will identify where we're going to play to win. It will identify how we use not just our corporate industries but our incentives as well to gain more share and more business and importantly it's all about high yielding visitors.
And then I want to talk to you as well about Events Management Queensland and I acknowledge Ben and Paul who are here in the room. Events Management Queensland is a TEQ wholly owned subsidiary that is based out of the Gold Coast. They've had a very successful history of growing the Gold Coast Marathon and the Pan Pacific Masters Games and we are currently working with that organisation who I know are going through their own strategic review to find out what are those opportunities that that vehicle who has been very successful on the Gold Coast can play a potential role across the state. I think Paul I hear you, from small things big things grow, so it's slow and steady but we certainly have some big aspirations as well. In point four we are going to use the strength and influence of our destinations and and this is a point I want to address from all of you in that our destinations play a key role and you will see this reflected through our global marketing strategy and our event strategy. We're going to use the certainty of our $125 million dollars to hopefully do some big deals and hopefully get other government and private sector to invest in us and hopefully reach our targets. We have a target of doubling
the cooperative partnership investment over the next few years from $40 million dollars to $80 million dollars and I'm really confident that we are going to be able to do that. And our regional partnerships are so important and again it's very special that all 13 RTOs are here with us today and as we launch this state plan the ability to align across the destination management plans in all 13 regions will be critical and I look forward to what that partnership looks like. So you will see that we're going to harness the strength of our regions and those unique experiences and you will see it in our marketing and events. And finally we're going to deliver cutting edge, high-impact marketing campaigns. I think one our Chair is very passionate about
but it's going to be a less is more approach. So we're going to look at more higher impact campaigns that complement our traditional methods but using digital technology and the best that's available. So in other words we're going to do fewer, bigger, bolder and we're going to focus on this activity at a global, as well as domestic level. And I want you to think about Best Jobs, Scuba, Beautiful One Day Perfect The Next. It's certainly time for us to launch our next big idea. We are doing so much as an organisation in the digital and tech space and the team are experimenting with some amazing technology, so I can assure you that from a technological point of view and being more productive and efficient it's happening and we can't wait to use this to convert hopefully our consumers. And I also will be using our global partnerships across
the world to drive more value and in essence we're going to have some fun. We're going to play with some awesome and big ideas, we're going to back it by the latest research and we're going to use the best technology around so look out world, I think it's a pretty exciting space. So this is all going to be underpinned by 2032. The government's focus on these being a Queensland Games is very much the mantra of TEQ as well and I also want to say as proud Queenslanders I really do think it's an it is important that we do get behind Brisbane in this once of a lifetime opportunity, because this will certainly filter across the state and as our capital city by backing this part of the State, to our Chairs mantra, a rising tide lifts all boats and this tide can certainly be a tsunami if we make it and the opportunity is for us to capture. I want to give you an example of how this can happen in real life and I know I've got Paul
and Anthony here from BEDA but there was a recent opportunity in the event space. The British and Irish Lions test match. That event was secured for Queensland in a hunting in pacts mentality. We would not have secured that without it and by using that approach we now have in 2025, 30,000 UK tourists to come here for that series in Queensland and it will be one of those times where the red jersey actually out number, sorry Brett, the yellow jerseys. So with those 30,000
tourists coming from all the way over from the UK to here we are already talking about packaging and showcasing those other experiences that are across the state. So this is real and we can do it. And if we can do it with the British and Irish Lions we can certainly do it with the Olympic and Paralympic Games. So that is our strategy, there is a lot there and I've tried to keep it short but I want to also show you that we have restructured as an organisation with no job losses but a realignment to align to the strategy. So we have now a structure that is shaped around delivering our strategy and four pillars. Marketing, Events, Corporate and Strategy and a new portfolio around
Commercial and Partnerships and this is being adopted as a direct response to what industry have said. This structure stands up as on Monday and I'm really excited that the team have also embraced this. So we have a lot going on and there are three Group Executive roles that are currently out in market. The Marketing, the Events and the Commercial and Partnership roles are currently
being recruited and I'm really excited to hopefully have some awesome announcements for you in the coming weeks. So in the meantime I do want to acknowledge the Executive Team who are here. Even though those roles are being recruited you can see we're absolutely getting on with the job and we have wasted no time in delivering this strategy already and in the coming weeks we will also launch to you the TEQ global marketing strategy and the events strategy that basically sums up what I've said to you today but hopefully give our new Group Executives an opportunity to also put their flavour on it. So it is a lot of information and I know there is a lot there. The document was sent out to all of you this week but I do want to say, I thank you for being so frank and open with us in the role that we have to play in this journey ahead to 2032. I want to
thank our Minister and our Assistant Minister for being huge advocates and keeping us in line over the last few months and importantly our Board with our Chair and our Board and our TEQ team for delivering everything that we said we would do by the deadlines that were meant. I also want to say to you that the strategy is only as good as the execution and I can assure you that we are living and breathing this document already, we are already trying to deliver upon these targets and whilst it won't be easy and whilst we may not meet all of them you can certainly be assured that we're going to be honest and transparent about that if we can't. So it is an exciting time there's a lot for us to digest there we're going to be around afterwards but I do want to now welcome to the stage Andrew Hopper our DG to show not only the unity between our organisations but how we're going to work with you to better our industry moving forward. Welcome Andrew.