Talking Tourism

Issue 610, May 28, 2020


Welcome to this week’s edition of Talking Tourism newsletter.

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Spotlight on State with diverse regional events supported

From a celebration of wildflowers in Esperance to star gazing in the Wheatbelt, a total of 77 regional events across the State have been awarded funding through Tourism WA’s 2020-2021 Regional Events Scheme (RES). The annual funding round is designed to support the development of smaller and emerging events as tourist attractions within regional Western Australia. The RES funding is supported by the State Government through Tourism WA and Royalties for Regions. Seven events were also awarded funding under the Regional Aboriginal Events Scheme, to showcase Aboriginal activities and experiences and encourage Aboriginal leadership and participation. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, successful funding applicants for the 2020-2021 RES have been given the option of holding their event at any time up until December 31, 2021. For more information, including successful applicants, visit Tourism WA’s corporate website or read the media release.


Regional travel restrictions lifted further

The WA Government has further opened travel within WA. From Friday May 29, regional boundaries will be lifted, with the exception of the Kimberley region, regions that are bound by the Commonwealth’s designated biosecurity determination and 274 remote Aboriginal communities. Restrictions on travel to Commonwealth biosecurity areas, including Broome are expected to be lifted on Friday, June 5.  The further relaxation of restrictions comes in time for the long weekend with tourism operators and businesses expected to benefit from people keen to travel within WA. Read more in the WA Government media release.


Recovery Fund payments are now flowing to eligible operators

With only two weeks left to apply, eligible tourism operators are encouraged to apply for the $10.4 million WA Tourism Recovery Fund as soon as possible. It shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes, you will only need a basic recovery plan and you can still apply for the Tourism Business Survival Grants, which are coming soon. Applications are being assessed as they are submitted, and as a result operators are now seeing the payments reach their bank accounts. The Fund comprises one off cash grants of $6,500 to provide immediate support to eligible tourism operators, with annual taxable wages of less than $1 million, including accommodation, attraction, and tour and transport businesses. Applications close on June 12, 2020. More information on the Tourism Recovery Fund and the online application form can be found on Tourism WA’s corporate website. If you have any questions please email the team. The $14.4 million Tourism Recovery Program is made up of two funding programs - $10.4 million WA Tourism Recovery Fund and $4 million Tourism Business Survival Grants - to support tourism operators around the State to adapt and refocus their businesses in the COVID-19 landscape.


Locals to Relive Perth

Destination Perth has released the first of more than 40 videos promoting its recovery campaign ‘Relive Perth’. The Facebook campaign allows consumers to meet the people behind the product of some of Perth's local businesses, including how they've reimagined their business, reconnected with their customers and reignited their passion for what it is they do during the COVID-19 pandemic. Relive Perth aims to help lockdown-weary consumers discover some great experiences which will rekindle their love for Perth and surrounds. Visit the campaign landing page.


WA virtual famil launches in the UK

Tourism WA’s UK team has launched the first Western Australian virtual familiarisation trip (VFam). The innovative digital platform is free for agents to sign up and is based on the concept of a traditional familiarisation trip. Starting in London, the 13-day VFam follows a fly/drive road trip itinerary from Perth, north towards the Coral Coast, and up to Ningaloo Reef. It has been created to help the travel industry deliver a more engaging, rewarding and profitable level of training. It features photos and 360-degree videos combined with built-in gamification elements such as Q&As to offer agents incentives and rewards. Agents can utilise the virtual online itineraries from their home or office, and use the portal content when planning a client holiday. Read more here.


Postcards from our Backyard

WAITOC has launched the second phase of its “Postcards from our Backyard” campaign, with a competition that builds on the creation and promotion of 20 video postcards. The audience is invited to vote for their favourite postcard and enter to win one of 20 $500 vouchers to spend with any full members – including tours, accommodation, art, bushfoods or other merchandise, through to December 2021. The first phase reached more than 200,000 people and the postcards will also be featured on the Yagan Square Digital Tower. The campaign targets Western Australians with the objective to ensure aboriginal experiences are part of the post-lockdown adventures around the State. Watch the postcards here and view the competition landing page here.


WA on show in New Zealand

Tourism WA hosted an online webinar for New Zealand-based Aussie Specialist agents to provide top 10 reasons for their clients to plan a holiday in Western Australia. Online regional factsheets were also distributed containing selling tips, when to visit, how to get around and top things to see and do. In addition, Tourism WA has been proactively sending stories to mainstream media in New Zealand to encourage Kiwis to visit WA once it’s allowed and safe to do so. The ‘Virtual WA Hub’ was also profiled in the NZ Herald on Sunday showcasing the State’s nature, wildlife, wine and cultural experiences.


Planning tool to help businesses reopen and be COVIDSafe

The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) has created an online planning tool to help businesses keep their workers, customers and the community safe as they reopen or increase their activities in the coming weeks and months. The online planning should take about 30 minutes to complete and leave businesses with a clear idea about what they will do to keep people safe, how they will get their business back up and running and how they might adapt their operating model. It will also help businesses plan practical steps such as organising supplies, updating insurance and reactivating subscriptions, and provide help with cash flow, wages and loans. The tool can be downloaded from the NCCC website.


Online Aussie Specialist training platform available

Tourism Australia has debuted a local version of its Aussie Specialist Program. Australian travel agents are being provided access to a free online training platform to help them sell domestic tourism experiences. The initiative is a local version of Tourism Australia's international Aussie Specialist Program and has been designed to equip agents with relevant, up-to-date information and showcase new regions, destinations and experiences within Australia. It offers training modules, itinerary suggestions, fact sheets, industry news and monthly email updates. Click here to register.


COVID Clean module now available

A new national COVID-19 Clean Practising Business accreditation module has been launched through ATIC’s Quality Tourism online program. The COVID Clean accreditation module provides best practice standards for customers and bookings, staff management, materials and cleaning. The module develops customised daily, weekly and monthly cleaning checklists tailored to your business, to support your efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and provide confidence to visitors. Businesses that complete the module will receive a COVID Clean logo to display. The module is administered in WA by Tourism Council WA. For more information, contact Tourism Council WA.


Register for Tourism Australia industry webinar

Tourism Australia (TA) is hosting a series of webinars on COVID-19 each week. The next webinar will be held at 9am (WST) tomorrow, May 29. Presenters include Senator Jonathon Duniam, Assistant Minister for Regional Tourism, who will provide an update and give his perspective on regional tourism and the pathway forward; Neville Power, Chair of the National COVID-19 Commission, who will give an update on the Commission’s work to date, and upcoming plans; and Bradley Woods, TA Board Member and CEO of the Australian Hotels Association (WA), who will give an update on restarting the tourism sector, in particular through the lens of hospitality. Click here to register.


ATEC helps prepare your business for future success

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) is running a Road to Recovery tourism tutorial series – a program designed to provide the tourism industry with tools to bounce back after the impacts of COVID-19. The 45-minute tutorials are free of charge and are hosted every Thursday at 12 noon (WST). Register here for next week’s tutorial, which will take place on Thursday, May 28, on the topic: Video to boost Reach, Reaction and Revenue.  The tutorials are run in addition to ATEC’s Build Back Better industry webinar series, which provides insights from panellists who discuss a range of industry-relevant topics and challenges. The next webinar will be held on Wednesday, June 3, on the topic: The ‘trans-Tasman bubble’ what this means for our industry. Visit the website for more information.


Collie-Preston project to boost tourism

A new initiative to support local tourism businesses in the Collie-Preston region has received $50,000 under the Collie Futures Small Grants Program. The Donnybrook Regional Tourism Association will use the funding for the ‘Connecting to Collie-Preston project’ - an initiative to develop targeted travel packages to the region highlighting local businesses and tourism operators. The diverse southern approach to Collie – including Donnybrook and Collie via the Preston River Valley - will be the focus of the campaign which will support operators in their COVID-19 recovery. Both the $2 million Collie Futures Small Grants Program and $18 million Collie Futures Industry Development Fund are part of the $20 million Collie Futures Fund. Read more in the Ministerial media release or to apply for funding, visit the South West Development Commission website.


Download the COVIDSafe App

The Australian Government’s voluntary coronavirus app, COVIDSafe is an important public health initiative that speeds up the current manual process of finding people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. This means people can be contacted more quickly if they are at risk and reduces the chances of people passing on the virus to family, friends and other people in the community. State and Territory health officials can only access app information if someone tests positive and agrees to the information in their phone being uploaded. The health officials can only use the app information to help alert those who may need to quarantine or get tested. The COVIDSafe app is the only contact trace app approved by the Australian Government. Find out more information including how to get the app here.


Applications closing soon for Tourism Australia program

Applications for Tourism Australia’s Business Events Australia Advance Program 2020-21 will close on Monday, June 1. The program has been adapted to be more accessible to help industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The partner marketing initiative provides funding to marketing and distribution projects that aim to bring business events to Australia. For more information, click here.


COVID-19 Business Recovery Planning Tool

The COVID-19 Business Recovery Planning Tool, administered in WA by Tourism Council WA, is designed to support businesses to identify strategies on how they will respond to various stages of restrictions being lifted. The resulting Recovery Plan can be submitted as part of your application to the Tourism Recovery Fund. To access the planning tool, contact Tourism Council WA.


COVID hotline and FAQs

The WA Government COVID hotline helps answer questions West Australians have on the current COVID-19 State of Emergency. The hotline number is 13 26 842 (or 13COVID) and operates from 7am to 10pm every day. The hotline includes a range of options for callers, including pre-recorded information and direction to appropriate websites or call centres for specific information. Tourism WA also has a dedicated coronavirus webpage and FAQ document that is regularly updated with relevant industry information, contact numbers and links.