The Youth Tourism Conference

Unlocking the Future of Adventure and Youth Tourism: A Journey through Innovation and Inclusion

Join us for a transformative day at the Adventure and Youth Tourism Conference2023, where industry leaders, innovators, and experts converge to shape the future of travel. Discover powerful strategies, gain industry insights, and network with the best in the field.

Why Attend:

  • Keynote Speakers: Gain unparalleled insights from trailblazers like Max Dillon, Hailey Brown, Dr Kaya Barry who will delve into storytelling, accessibility and the dynamic Working Holiday Maker sector.
  • An Update from Tourism Australia: Stay ahead of the curve with exclusive updates from Kristy Malapa, Tourism Australia’s Industry Relations Manager, covering the latest trends and developments in the sector. 
  • Industry Panel: Join a dynamic discussion led by influential State and National Representatives, each playing a pivotal role in sculpting the policies and future landscape of adventure and youth tourism. Gain invaluable insights into the strategic decisions and initiatives that will help steer our industry towards a vibrant and sustainable future. Meet: Wendi Aylward – Backpacker Youth Tourism Advisory Panel (BYTAP), Andrew Cowan – Youth Tourism New South Wales (YTNSW), Alex Hill – Youth Tourism Victoria (YTV) and Peta Zietsch – Adventure Queensland (AQ)
  • Inspirational Stories: Be inspired by Mike Smith, the founder of Zero Co, who launched a thriving business amidst a pandemic, proving that innovation knows no bounds and the appeal of Voluntourism is growing! 
  • Digital Marketing Trends: Discover the latest in digital marketing trends and how AI will help and hinder us online with Ben, the founder of Team Empathy, an ethical digital marketing agency that will provide insights into how to establish a strong authentic online presence in our ever-changing digital world.  
  • Res Tech Panel Discussions: Engage with industry titans in a lively discussion, moderated by Dan Lucas, Co-Founder of Hero as they explore the future of adventure and youth tourism reservation technology featuring prominent players like Rezdy, Respax and FareHarbor. 

Adventure Queensland (AQ), the peak backpacking and independent travel industry body for Queensland is excited to announce the return of the Adventure Tourism Awards Youth Tourism Conference that will take place on 9 November, 2023. This years conference will focus on Culture, Country and Technology in an effort to connect us all again after the turmoil of the last few years. 

Following the success of the past year’s outstanding conferences and awards nights, AQ continues to focus on curating a dedicated half-day conference to focus on addressing the challenges and opportunities that affect youth tourism in Australia and New Zealand.

This industry-led Youth Tourism Conference provides attendees with opportunities for professional and business development as well as networking and engagement opportunities with industry colleagues. Delegates will hear from industry-leading speakers on critical industry issues and innovative ideas. Prepare to be inspired, prepare for the future of the youth tourism industry.

Date: Thursday 9 November 2023
Time: Arrival and registration from 8:30am. 
Function Room: Ocean View Room
Venue: The Island
Dress code: Business casual

Conference Agenda:
0830 – 0850: Arrival & Registration
0850 – 0900: Welcome & Housekeeping – Stewart Moore Founder and CEO of Earth Check
0900 – 0930: Welcome to Country by Max Dillon
Living in a modern world but following his ancestors footsteps, Max, a Kombumerri man is a Dingo trainer, storyteller, musician and environmental protector. Listen closely as Max shares his deep knowledge and understanding of land and culture in the hope that it will help you gain a deeper respect the land we all now call home. 
0930 – 0950: Keynote Speaker – Hailey Brown
Winner of the Enterprising Women’s Kickstarter Challenge, Hailey has earned even more acclaim here in Australia turning her Exceptional Academic Performance at UQ into entrepreneurship. In the spirit of the year of accessible tourism, CEO VacayIt will share how to make your business more accessible by making small changes. 
0950 – 1020: Keynote Speaker – Dr Kaya Barry
Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Griffith University, Dr. Barry will present on the ever-changing Working Holiday Maker sector by sharing insights she has gained through her Social Cultural Research.
1020 – 1100: Morning Tea
1100 – 1130: Industry Update – Kristy Malapa
Industry Relations Manager – SA, TAS, VIC & Youth, Tourism Australia, Kristy will deliver an update on all things pertinent to marketing to our sector.
1130 – 1200: Keynote Speaker – Mike Smith
Founder, Zero Co, Hear an inspirational story from a man who kickstarted his business right in the thick of the pandemic!
1200 – 1230: Industry Panel Update
Wendi Aylward – BYTAP
Andrew Cowan – YTNSW
Alex Hill – YTV
Peta Zietsch – AQ
The future of adventure and youth tourism presented by State and National Representatives.
1230 – 1330: Lunch
1330 – 1400: Keynote Speaker – Ben Male
Be inspired by Ben’s passion for conversion for your purpose-driven company that will help you stand out online and stay ahead of the curve.  
1400 – 1500: Panel Discussion Moderated by Dan Lucas, Co-Founder of Hero 
This fireside-style format encourages an open and lively discussion, allowing you to ask questions and engage with the panellists. Whether you’re a seasoned tour operator or just starting in the industry, this session is designed to equip you with the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions about reservation systems that will elevate your business to new heights through conversions.
  • Chris Atkin – Rezdy
  • Henri Wilson – FareHarbor
  • Josh Mayar – Respax 
1500 – 1510: Conclusion
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