On the trail of Gippsland tourism
 Backyard Tourism: Baw Baw  

By // 20:47, Saturday 20 September 2014

12sep14 previewMORE than 100 delegates attending the Gippsland Tourism Conference heard Drouin South adventurer Tim Cope speak of the inspiration he draws from his upbringing in the region.

This article was first published in the 12 September 2014 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen. Get your copy now for even more news and entertainment.

Tim spoke of his horseback trek from Mongolia to Hungary across the Eurasian steppe, which was filmed for his multi award-winning documentary series called ‘The Trail of Genghis Khan’.


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He said people often asked him about his motivation to spend three years travelling 10,000 kilometres through Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Hungary in harsh, sometimes sub-zero conditions.

“One of the biggest factors in all of that was growing up in Gippsland,” Tim said.

“Skiing up at St Gwinear, doing my first bush walk at the Sealers Cove circuit at the Prom and surfing at Sandy Point.

“In Gippsland the unique thing is that intersection between human society and that wildness in nature.”

After his documentary’s success, Tim spent four years writing the book ‘On the Trail of Genghis Khan, An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads’. His appearance at Destination Gippsland’s conference was part of a speaking tour supporting the book’s publication.

Baw Baw Shire Deputy Mayor Cr Debbie Brown was at the conference and found Tim “enthralling.”

“I’ve heard Tim speak before but each time I hear him I learn something new,” Cr Brown said.

“He’s very good at sharing those personal discoveries and life lessons.”

Cr Brown said speakers at the conference focused on customer service and promoting a business on a small budget.


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“We learnt there are effective ways to go online and achieve publicity, usually with little money,” Cr Brown said.

“We also heard a lot about working together – go and see the snow, then go and see the penguins.

“It was also good to learn that Tourism Victoria is encouraging Victorians to travel within their own state.”

Among the tourism operators from Baw Baw Shire at the conference was Julie McWilliams from Silvertop Cottages at Erica.

Julie said her and her husband Noel had been flat out in recent months because of their proximity to Mt Baw Baw and the Walhalla Vinter Ljusfest.

As an accommodation provider, Julie says she learnt a lot from listening to the owners of the Morwell Motel, which this year was crowned Australia’s most popular bargain hotel by TripAdvisor.

“That was valuable information for me,” Julie said.

“I learnt a lot from their experiences.”

Like Cr Brown, Julie also came away with a new understanding about using social media to promote her business.

However, “the best thing was networking with people who have the same type of business.”

“We can learn so much from each other at an event like that,” Julie said.

For more by Greg Pretty, visit www.greatergippsland.com


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