Anita Monticone from Parks Victoria is the 2018 Visitability Ambassador, announced at the 2017 Melbourne Tourism Leadership Program (MTLP) graduation ceremony.
Anita joined the team at Parks Victoria in 2015, first in the marketing department, and now in digital communications.
Following her completion of the MTLP program, she voluntarily undertook an extension to MTLP, to submit a report evaluating the Wilsons Promontory National Park against the five pillars of Visitability: Sense of Welcome; Inclusivity; Communication; Technology and Transport.
Her recommendations to improve Visitability are insightful, and if fully implemented would further Parks Victoria's position as a visitor-friendly business.
We caught up with Anita to ask her more about being the MTLP Visitability Ambassador.
What motivated you to write a report, based on the five pillars of Visitability, on Wilsons Promontory National Park?
I have been fortunate to visit the Prom several times, both for work and leisure. One particular project I was working on involved a considerable amount of face to face engagement with visitors. Through this process I was able to connect the dots between the current offering, authentic visitor feedback and applying my learnings of the five pillars of Visitability.
Can you please share a few areas that you think Wilsons Promontory National Park does well in terms of Visitability?
The Prom is an iconic Victorian natural asset, and the natural beauty speaks for itself. This, along with the Visitor Information Centre in Tidal River certainly sets it on the right track for having a great sense of welcome! The early phase of the customer journey and sense of welcome is also well supported by the availability of online information and customer service staff for further enquiries pre-visit.
Inclusivity is another area of Visitability that Parks Victoria as an organisation is committed to improving. For the Prom, this includes the provision of free-to-use beach and all-terrain wheelchairs, accessible picnic areas and beach and river access, as well as a range of accommodation options, equipment and modifications. There is also a short walk around Tidal River suitable for wheelchairs, walkers and prams.
Why do you think it’s important for businesses to consider these pillars?
It can be a daunting task to objectively outline what an organisation – big or small – is doing well, and where improvements can be made. The pillars of Visitability are an excellent starting point to do this, and to end up with some common sense, actionable plans to improve the offering.
How do you think a business could move from assessing the five pillars of Visitability to actioning them?
Following on from the above, when clear recommendations or goals have been defined, the next logical step would be to further split goals into categories such as time, cost and importance.
Through completing the Visitability Race at the MTLP mid-residential and completing the Visitability Award submission, it was surprising to discover the sometimes small changes that can be implemented to make a positive difference to the five areas of Visitability – and often without large additional costs.