Fil­lip to MICE at Phillip Is­land, Aus­tralia

An is­land that helps you in­dulge in na­ture con­ser­va­tion along with meet­ings, says Stephen Pep­pard, In­ter­na­tional Sales & Mar­ket­ing, Philip Is­land Na­ture Parks, Aus­tralia

Micetalk - - CONTENTS - Nisha Verma

How is Phillip Is­land cater­ing to the MICE mar­ket?

We get a lot of MICE groups, from the In­dian mar­ket. In fact, we had shut down the Pen­guin Pa­rade for gen­eral pub­lic once three years ago be­cause we had a big group from In­dia with over 4,000 peo­ple. Churchill Is­land is a lo­ca­tion we use for MICE groups be­cause there is space and peo­ple can in­dulge in team ac­tiv­i­ties or the work­ing farm ac­tiv­i­ties. We do con­ser­va­tion work with the groups as well, such as tree plant­ing or an­i­mal box build­ing. Also, Mel­bourne is a great lo­ca­tion for MICE groups, of­fer­ing for­mal con­ven­tion venues, and break­away tourism op­tions like Phillip Is­land.

What are the chal­lenges of hold­ing a MICE event on an is­land?

Things to be con­sid­ered such as ac­tiv­i­ties, ca­pac­ity, travel time and value for money make Phillip Is­land one of Aus­tralia’s premier MICE lo­ca­tions. Be­ing only 90 min­utes from Mel­bourne means large groups are not wast­ing valu­able time and as the Is­land is very com­pact, once groups ar­rive, all lo­ca­tions are only a mat­ter of min­utes apart. Be­ing able to cater to groups of all sizes, up to 4,000 per night, makes Phillip Is­land the ideal lo­ca­tion for MICE groups.

Please tell us about the at­trac­tions there.

Phillip Is­land is a na­ture park, and is a non profit or­gan­i­sa­tion setup by the state gov­ern­ment of Vic­to­ria in the mid 1980s to pro­tect the pen­guin colony which was on a de­cline. The num­ber of pen­guins on the is­land is 32,000. We have 30,000 Aus­tralian wild Fur Seals and we re­ceive around one mil­lion mi­gra­tory birds as well. We have a di­verse range of ac­tiv­i­ties such as the Pen­guin Pa­rade; Churchill Is­land Her­itage Farm with sheep shear­ing, cow milk­ing, work­ing dog trial and whip crack­ing; The Koala Con­ser­va­tion Cen­tre and the new Antarc­tic Jour­ney at the Nob­bies in part­ner­ship with the WWF. And the last prod­uct is the Great Ocean tour, where a fast boat takes 47 pas­sen­gers from Cowes to the Aus­tralian wild Fur Seal colony. Other pop­u­lar at­trac­tions within the In­dian mar­ket are the Phillip Is­land Cho­co­late Fac­tory and A Maze’N Things, which is an op­ti­cal il­lu­sion theme park. We have a lot of ac­com­mo­da­tion on the is­land as well.

Why is the In­dia mar­ket im­por­tant for you?

We get around 13,000-14,000 In­dian vis­i­tors ev­ery year and are try­ing to get around 20,000 in to­tal. Con­sid­er­ing the po­ten­tial in this mar­ket, with the grow­ing mid­dle class, and with the de­sire to travel, we think that we would reach this growth. How­ever, we want to project that Phillip Is­land is more than just Pen­guin Pa­rade.

Stephen Pep­pard

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