Emerging Tourism Professional (ETP) Program

As the peak national body representing regional tourism practitioners in Australia, Australian Regional Tourism is committed to supporting the development of young tourism professionals with particular regard to those working in, and contributing to, regional destinations. For many years, ART has conducted the Young Tourism Professional Award Program, which has since been revitalised and is known as the Emerging Tourism Professional (ETP) Program. Held annually in conjunction with the Australian Regional Tourism Convention, the objectives of the program is to:

  • Recognise excellence, achievements and innovations in regional tourism,
  • Incentivise young regional tourism practitioners to strive for best-practice, and
  • Encourage young regional tourism practitioners to remain in the industry

Finalists for the ETP Program are considered to be emerging leaders of the industry with the potential to make significant contribution to regional tourism. The program allows tourism professionals aged 30 years and under the opportunity to nominate for this prestigious award, with a prize of a professional tourism development program, designed by the applicant.


ETP Program Finalists 2019-2020

ART is very pleased to announce the finalists for this years’ Emerging Tourism Professional (ETP) Program. A big congratulations to Lisa Woolfe and Jordan Wheeler, who were awarded the top prize amongst a very strong field of applicants!


Lisa Woolfe | Director Tourism & Events, Townsville Enterprise Limited

Throughout her eight year career with Townsville Enterprise Lisa has been integral in leading and delivering projects which have supported growth in the tourism and events sector in Townsville North Queensland. With some of her most recent achievements including leading the marketing plan for the ‘Driving the Great Barrier Reef’ campaign that won Gold at the 2018 Queensland Tourism Awards, instigating and managing targeted airline activities which delivered almost 13,000 seats in 10 days, managing the 2019 Townsville flood recovery campaign with the State Government and establishing the regions first events Bid Fund which has delivered more than 174,000 room nights and injected over $47M into the local economy.

In June 2019, Lisa was appointed the Director of Tourism and Events for Townsville Enterprise and has a key role in growing the regions tourism and events sector, working with local operators, State and Federal Government, and industry bodies to increase visitation to Townsville North Queensland.

Lisa is a committee member for the Townsville Triathlon and Multisport Festival and enjoys spending her weekends outdoors with her husband and 1 year old daughter.


Jordan Wheeler | General Manager, Capricorn Caves

Jordan had his sights set on becoming a teacher as he enjoyed working with young people and opening their minds to new ways of thinking. Two years into studying his teaching degree, an opportunity arose for a casual tour guide at Capricorn Caves, so Jordan deferred his university studies to take up that role and try something different. That was the turning point where Jordan realised his passion was to work in tourism.

Over the past eight years, Jordan has developed his career at Capricorn Caves, first as the Outdoor Recreation Supervisor and now as the Assistant General Manager. In this role, Jordan coordinates the daily operations of the business and is responsible for tour guide training, guest experience, product development and sustainability. Jordan’s role encompasses that of Education Coordinator, working with principals and teachers across regional Queensland to deliver school camps and education programs in classrooms and at Capricorn Caves.

A career in tourism has given Jordan the opportunity to meet new people, travel around Australia and explore the world. He enjoys sharing the uniqueness of Capricorn Caves and the Rockhampton region to domestic and international visitors.