The PRIME Mentoring Program is a tailored approach to tourism industry training, initiated by VTIC to support Victorian tourism businesses to thrive as they rebound from a period of extreme business disruption.

The bespoke program aims to guide businesses to develop refreshed visitor experiences, aligned to their destination tourism and marketing strategy. Participants will receive mentoring to enhance tourism operations and marketing skills which will establish strong foundations to encourage entrepreneurship and grow reach through new partnerships in the wider tourism sector.

The PRIME Mentoring Program has been developed by DTM Tourism in partnership with VTIC. The program will deliver upskilling in the following areas:

P    Product operations for practicality, efficiency and profit
R Relevance to target audiences, market demand drivers, competitiveness and readiness
I Innovation to stand out from the crowd, find a gap in the market
M Marketability to be authentic to the region and their own brand
E Engagement with partnerships and distribution



1. Business Health Check
The program starts with a thorough business audit to determine gaps in operations. The results of this process and an on-site visit to each business, helps to guide our mentors to design a bespoke learning program, ensuring outcomes are achieved in the areas of most need.

2. One-on-one mentor support
A mentor will be assigned to each participating business – the mentors are skilled across a broad range of tourism operations, product development and marketing. Each business works with a mentor in a one-on-one capacity through the program, delivering personalised support and efficiency in understanding individual needs.

3. Tailored learning modules
PRIME is a structured program of learning modules designed to take a mentee business through a learning pathway from start-up to international tourism distribution partnerships. Mentees can join the program at any point in their development journey. This point will be determined by the Mentor after the Business Health Check.

4. Take home resources
DTM Tourism has developed simple and effective training resources to support each stage of learning. Mentees retain use of the resources to refer to at all times during the life of their tourism business, ensuring sustainability in learning outcomes.

Who should apply:

VTIC invites tourism businesses to submit an expression of interest to participate in the program. Currently, we have applications open for businesses that are located in:

Applications are open to:

  • Accommodation, attractions, tour and experience operators, food and beverage and car rental
  • The program is best suited for small and medium-sized businesses
  • Applicants should be the business owner or in a decision-making position
  • Businesses looking to develop or diversify their product and service, marketing plan and efforts, to expand and grow
  • Businesses willing to collaborate with other tourism operators in the destination.

*If you are not sure whether this program would be suitable for your business, please contact Michelle Dall’Ava:


The program is free of charge to successful applicants (valued at $5,000) but has been limited to 10 businesses in each region. Please note: there is a cost for Accreditation – see more details below.

This project is part of a wider industry development program that has been funded and supported by the Victorian Government to help in the recovery of the tourism industry.

What can you expect to achieve from this program?

  • Priority actions for your business for the next 12 months
  • A defined and strong brand and origin story to guide your product, content and operational decisions
  • Understanding of how you align a new product or experience to the target audience and destination demand drivers in your tourism cluster
  • Review of your pricing to include distribution and profit margins
  • Business efficiency through reservations systems
  • Priority distribution partnerships
  • All businesses who successfully complete the program will receive a personalised local marketing plan
  • A clear understanding of how to implement a local marketing plan, and more.

What do we expect from you?

  • That you are committed and comfortable to work with a one-on-one mentor, for a total of 10 to 15 hours. The sessions will be scheduled at a time that suits you and your mentor.
  • That you are committed to dedicating your time to make changes to your business and shift your attention from ‘response’ to ‘recovery’.
  • That you are willing to pursue changes to your business as recommended, and as possible.
  • That you will get Quality Tourism Framework Accreditation for your business if you are not yet accredited. Please see further details below.
  • That you will continue to engage with VTIC, the Councils and other tourism operators in the area to grow and develop the destination.

What does the program involve?

  • Virtual group sessions with your tourism cluster
  • 10-15 hours of one-on-one mentoring with DTM Tourism, across 3-4 months
  • Time spent working on the tasks agreed with your mentor
  • Your mentor also working independently of you on your business.

Key Dates

Businesses in the City of Melbourne

Applications close 15 September 2021
Group session 1 29 September, 10am to 11.30am
One-on-one mentoring October 2021 – March 2022

Businesses in the Port Phillip Council area

Applications close 20 September 2021
Group session 1 30 September, 10am to 11.30am
One-on-one mentoring October 2021 – March 2022

How to apply

Businesses in the City of Melbourne

Businesses in the Port Phillip Council area

*The programs are limited to 10 businesses in each area. All applications will be assessed by VTIC and DTM Tourism.


About DTM Tourism

VTIC is excited to work with DTM Tourism to deliver the Prime Mentoring Program for Melbourne tourism businesses.

DTM Tourism is a bespoke team of experts with exceptional tourism industry knowledge and recognised experience in tourism product assessment, visitor experience design, tourism marketing strategy and capability building within the tourism sector. Read more about DTM and meet their team here.