Yesterday I had a great visit to the Bundaberg Visitor Information Centre managed by Chantele Nelson for Bundaberg Tourism. Chantele has only been in the position for 6 weeks and is driving a change in the products they retail and the programs they will offer to connect visitors and the community with the Meet the Maker model. Meet the Maker model enables the maker of the product to connect their story with the consumer and provides further connection to the region.
“We are reviewing our current products and are keen to share the story of our region through the VIC retail space. We are investigating options and looking for locally made products that tell our visitors about our great region,” said Chantele Nelson, Visitor Services and Sales Manager.
These stories will be shared within the retail space. When I travel, I want to buy a memory of that place. It needs to have local relevance, a local story and be locally made to make me want to buy it. As artists and makers, this is what we need to be thinking when designing a commercially viable product for the tourism market.
Some great tips for the visitor market:
Travellers needs something easy to pack into a suitcase
People want Australian made (i.e. try to outsource commercial production to an Australian company if the final product is not handmade)
The Grey Nomad price point for souvenirs is $10-$30
Try prototyping a product and have it on consignment to test the market before going into full production
Chantele is keen to explore testing higher end products through their “rent a space” cabinets in the foyer of the VIC. This could be a great place for local artists to test products if they meet the VIC’s criteria.
If you have had your eye on a place to sell your work, make a time to meet with the manager or owner of that business and discuss these basics as part of your research. Knowing the price point early in your planning, can help establish which is the right market for your work and where the appropriate places are to sell it. If you are looking at selling through your local VIC, I encourage you to make contact and connect with the people passionate about your region – like Chantele.