Tourism operators in the Pilbara are being encouraged to get their products ready for the international market with help from Australia’s peak tourism export body.

Earlier this month, the Australian Tourism Export Council presented an International Ready Development Pathway workshop in Karratha, Port Hedland and Tom Price to help local operators understand the ever-growing international marketplace.

The workshops included modules which revolved around what export tourism is, different types of travellers, and the different distribution channels that exist.

ATEC industry expert Mark Abercromby, who presented the sessions, said it was great for operators to have a package, but they needed to know how to get that to the faces and minds of people overseas.

“To be international-ready, operators need to be working within the distribution system and understand who the wholesalers are and who the agents are,” he said. “They need to have an engagement with an inbound operator that’s going to be promoting their product and everything the Pilbara has to offer international visitors.”

Pilbara Tourism Association chairman Barry Harrison said they talked about the German market and how they were already selling packages for 2022.

“Operators need to understand that international tourism is high-end dollars,” he said. “So it’s getting them to lift their businesses to a level at which their product can be picked up by an international wholesaler and sold in another country around the world.”

Mr Abercromby said tourism was Australia’s third-biggest export.

“Getting that money into the Pilbara is not going to happen overnight, it’s a matter of getting people to understand what the destination is and what the region has to offer,” he said.

The workshop also focused on the region’s many assets, such as world heritage sites, destinations such as Karijini, beautiful beaches and islands, and industrial tourism and how to promote those to the world.