Max Johnson

I have had the opportunity to be involved with the tourism industry since 1978, first studying the industry at university and subsequently as an operator of a special-interest travel company since 1981.

During the past thirty years, I have been privileged to visit over 120 countries in search of new, interesting and evolving tourism trends and bring them back to our company market. we operate as a wholesaler and a retailer, and work with a community of approximately 10,000 individual clients and 300 agencies as our channel between the travel producers and the elusive "market".

Over the past few years, I have also, through a subsidiary consulting company, been involved with community-based tourism as it becomes both a catch-phrase and real component of economic development. It is simply the attempt by local regions to control the destiny of their economy by maximising local economic impact. I see the growth of wine-related tourism as a major socio-economic driver of the tourist industry, and look forward to working with development projects both as an advisor and as a partner in the marketplace.

As the electronic distribution of travel becomes ever more sophisticated and integrated in the marketing of tourism, it will become increasingly difficult for small products to survive without a solid strategy and effective partnerships at every level of distribution. My colleagues and I look forward to participating in the exciting and profitable times that lie ahead.

Max delivered a talk titled:

Wine Tourism - The Essence of Community Tourism Development

As tourism increases, there is a growing division between global commodity-tourism and local participation. Special Interests, and in particular wine and culinary programs, bring visitors closer to the regions they work in and act as a catalyst to local tourism development; this talk looks at how this trend may evolve, and the symbiosis between tourism and general economic growth.

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