Meredith’s Planning and Research Story
Meredith brings passion, expertise and experience to the tourism-planning table and has a strong track record in tourism research, stakeholder engagement and strategic and collaborative tourism planning for regional destinations in Australia.
Her strengths lie in her capacity to identify, engage and build trust with key stakeholders to inform strategic and sustainable tourism planning.
A key part of her planning approach is to work closely with governments and tourism industry stakeholders to determine the most appropriate destination development, management and marketing strategies to grow local visitor economies. This includes adopting an evidence-based approach that considers current and future tourism opportunities and challenges to create realistic strategic and action-orientated plans.
Meredith also has a solid understanding of strategic land use planning and takes a ‘whole of destination’ approach to determine infrastructure and tourism product and experience development strategies necessary to stimulate destination competiveness. She also has a strong experience in nature based tourism, events, and brand identity and marketing strategies for regional destinations.
She also has practical experience within local government and completed a one-year engagement with Eurobodalla Shire Council, as part of the Division of Strategic and Sustainable Growth, to lead the implementation of the Eurobodalla Destination Action Plan that she developed for Council as a consultant. So she has a grass-roots perspective on how DMPs and Actions Plans can be created and then implemented within local government planning contexts.
Meredith worked as an academic at Southern Cross University until 2014 and has been undertaking planning consultancy work since 2011. She has worked with Destination North Coast, Destination Southern NSW, Destination NSW, Tourism Victoria and the South Australia Tourism Commission on regional and statewide regional tourism review and planning projects, so she also understands the bigger picture.
Her understanding and interest in sustainable tourism is founded on her PhD studies in destination management systems and sustainable tourism policy. She was Project Leader of the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre: Best Practice for the Sustainable Planning, Management, Development and Marketing of Regional Tourism Destinations that was funded over three-years at $300,000 by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Centre that examined 21 regional tourism destinations across Australia. Professor David Simmons, Research Director STCRC, identified this project as ‘the capstone research’ to the 13 years research work undertaken by the ST CRC.
She continues to design and deliver higher education related to sustainable tourism and has recently developed a new course called ‘Managing the Visitor Economy’ for Southern Cross University.