Resources » Wine Tourism Toolkit » Developing » Working with others » Tourism organisation services

Tourism organisation services

Tourism organisations work to maximise the economic, social and environmental benefits of this significant industry for the state or region they represent.

There are opportunities for wineries to be partners with these tourism organisations locally and at the state and national levels. As is the case with any partnership, with some well-informed investment of time, energy and dollars the rewards can be great.


Tourism Australia is the Australian Government agency responsible for international and domestic tourism marketing. Its activities include advertising, public relations and media programs, trade shows and programs for the tourism industry, consumer promotions, online communications and research.

Tourism Australia’s role is to influence people to travel to and throughout Australia, help foster a sustainable tourism industry, and increase the economic benefits to Australia from tourism. It works closely with industry partners and State/Territory tourism authorities.

Tourism Australia’s Business Development Managers are your best contact point for information about Tourism Australia’s activities, events, research and marketing opportunities. Their aim is to connect you directly to marketing programs and resources that will help you generate more business and help you gain a better understanding of market conditions.

Tourism Research Australia provides a range of free online resources as well as a more comprehensive information service.

State / Territory

State Tourism Organisations (STOs) are funded by State governments. They coordinate marketing and development activities and most are involved in developing tourism facilities and infrastructure. They work with industry partners and stakeholders to ensure their State has the best possible tourism offer. That means they compete with each other for market share and funding. 

All STOs have a Tourism Plan – usually available from their website – and some have specific wine and food tourism plans or strategies. They hold regular industry briefings to update operators on the latest market intelligence and research and most provide regular industry email updates about upcoming events and marketing opportunities.

Working with STOs:

  • Discuss your product and plans with their international and product development units (usually separate departments so be sure to contact both)
  • Ask for introductions to other key people, such as the familiarisation and media staff
  • See how you might fit into their cooperative marketing prospectus
  • Be included in the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW)
  • Subscribe to their regular updates and briefings
  • Find out about education and training opportunities

The STOs are:

State Tourism Industry Council Representatives

In addition to the Government Department STOs, most States and Territories  have their own membership-funded peak tourism industry representative organisations.  These bodies are generally responsible for acting as the voice of the State tourism industry to lobby Government and oversee the provision of support services, resources and assistance to members such as training, accreditation, certification, awards, business to business networks, industry research, communication and information.

All are aligned as members of the National Tourism Alliance (NTA), which is a national forum for advocating to the Federal Government on issues of common interest for Australian tourism and hospitality businesses.

The State Tourism Industry Representative Organisations are:

Regional / Local

Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs)

RTOs are an association of local tourism associations and operators coordinated through a regional marketing authority. RTOs develop regional tourism marketing strategies and work cooperatively with the relevant STO to promote the region. Not all RTOs are actively involved in the international market. Many, although not all, are membership based.  Some are part funded by the State or Territory Tourism Organisation (STO).


  • Develop a regional promotional plan
  • Prepare and distribute brochures and guides
  • Represent regional businesses at trade shows
  • Implement cooperative advertising
  • Encourage and coordinate product development
  • Generate and deliver market information
  • Run Visitor Information Centres (or this may be the role of your LTA)
  • Initiate cooperative activities with other regions

RTOs can provide detailed information on the numbers of domestic and international tourists visiting your region, where they are from, and the key destinations, experiences and opportunities within the region.  They generally work closely with product suppliers to provide cohesive messages to national domestic and international markets.

Local Tourism Associations (LTAs)

The first step is to sell your destination, then your product, so it is important to have a good relationship with your local tourism association.

Most LTAs are run by local government and focus on servicing visitors once they are in the region. They work with operators to develop products and improve service standards and usually run the local Visitor Information Centre. Their size, structure and scope varies enormously. Some cover a shire or large community, others only a small village; some do no more than provide information, others market their area aggressively both domestically and internationally; some are run by volunteers, while others have a number of staff.

LTAs work closely with RTOs and STOs to develop strategies and campaigns to attract visitors to the area and can provide very specific information on domestic and international visitation to the area. They may also provide the opportunity to get involved in STO and Tourism Australia’s activities on a cooperative and more cost effective basis.

Working with RTOs and LTAs:

  • Meet with your local tourism manager to discuss your product and plans in the international market
  • If appropriate become a member
  • Discuss cooperative marketing opportunities with the tourism manager and get involved in programs that are suitable for your business
  • Provide staff with a briefing on your product and give them regular updates
  • Be an active member of the organisation and attend networking functions and other events.

Visitor Information Centres (VICs)

Increasingly, visitors are making decisions about their holiday activities, experiences and accommodation when they are on the ground in the destination.  Visitor Information Centres play a key role in connecting visitors with local experiences that match their interests, and often actually take bookings. 

It is therefore critically important that staff from local and nearby regional Visitor Information Centres know about your business, have first-hand experience of your product and are aware of what prospective tourists can experience when visiting your facility.  Recommendations from Visitor Information Centres and other local businesses can dramatically influence the number of visitors who come to your door. 

Convention and Visitor Bureaux

CVBs are membership based organisations responsible for securing meetings, incentive travel programs, conventions, exhibitions and corporate events for the destinations that they represent.

The Business Events Council of Australia (formerly the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions Industry Council) provides a formalised umbrella structure for the key industry associations operating in the Australian business events sector. 

Members of the Australian Association of Convention Bureaux (AACB) include capital cities and a range of regional destinations. The AACB website includes links to regional bureaux.

CVBs aim to sell the benefits of their destination as a business tourism destination by marketing directly to organisations, associations and meeting planners through the development of sales materials and presentations, attending trade shows, generating PR and publicity and co-ordinating bids, site inspections and familiarisations.

Working with a CVB:

  • Make an appointment to meet with the membership services manager of your nearest CVB to discuss how the bureau may be able to assist you reach your objectives
  • If appropriate, become a member of the bureau and review its cooperative marketing and networking opportunities
  • Provide a briefing on your product for all appropriate bureau staff
  • Register for selected cooperative marketing programs
  • Maintain an active role in bureau activities.


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