Talking Tourism

Issue #596, February 27, 2020


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

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UFC’s return to Perth a triumph for WA tourism

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will return to Perth this year with Tourism WA securing a major event organised by the world's leading mixed martial arts promoter. Tourism Minister Paul Papalia joined current UFC featherweight champion, Australian Alex Volkanovski, at RAC Arena on Tuesday to announce Perth will host the pay-per-view UFC 251 on Sunday June 7, 2020. Pay-per-views are the top tier of UFC events, attracting massive global audiences - with only 12 held each year, and only two or three of those hosted outside North America. UFC 251 is the only pay-per-view UFC event currently scheduled for Australia this year, with the sport's dedicated fan base expected to converge on Perth for the event. The return of the globally popular spectacle is expected to again attract thousands of interstate tourists to WA, filling hotel rooms and supporting local tourism and hospitality businesses during the State's traditionally quieter winter period. Broadcasts of UFC pay-per-views have the potential to reach one billion households in 172 countries. UFC also has a social media reach of more than 79 million followers. For more information, read the story on our corporate website.


Hell’s Bell ready to ring in Perth Festival finale

A 300kg starter’s bell will ring in the beginning of Perth Festival’s 2020 free family-friendly, public finale Highway to Hell, on Sunday, March 1. The ‘Hell’s Bell’, a large starter's bell (supplied by the same company that made the original AC/DC Hell's Bell) was unveiled last week as excitement builds ahead of the finale. Highway to Hell features local and international artists performing in the world's largest homage to AC/DC. It will take place along Canning Highway from Applecross to Fremantle on the 40th anniversary since original AC/DC front man, Bon Scott, was laid to rest at Fremantle Cemetery. The event includes more than 130 free community activities spanning 10km of Canning Highway, creating the world's longest stage. Highway to Hell has attracted visitors from as far afield as the US, UK and Japan and is supported by Tourism WA. For more information, read the story on our corporate website.


Asia Pacific’s largest agri-tech event coming to Perth

Perth will welcome visitors from more than 20 countries when it hosts Australia's premier agrifood tech event in February 2021. AgriFutures Australia evokeAG is expected to attract more than 1,000 delegates including farmers, start-ups, innovators, researchers, businesses, government, universities and investors. evokeAG will partner with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Business Events Perth (BEP) and the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation to showcase innovations in agriculture and food production and attract investment from across Australia and the Asia Pacific. Tourism WA provides funding support to BEP to help attract business events to WA. In 2018-19, BEP secured conferences and corporate and incentive meetings which generated around $153 million for the WA economy. evokeAG will be held on February 16-17, 2021. For more information, read the Agriculture and Tourism Ministers’ media statement.


One month to go until Socceroos vs Kuwait in Perth

Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold was in Perth on Wednesday to mark one month until Australia takes on Kuwait at HBF Park in Perth. The two nations are currently sitting first (Australia) and second (Kuwait) on Asia’s Group B standings. Next month’s match between Australia and Kuwait at HBF Park will the first time Australia has played in Perth since September 2016. The State Government, through Tourism WA, partnered with Football Federation Australia (FFA) to host the Round 2 qualifier match in Perth, as well as a Round 3 match in 2021 – possibly at Optus Stadium.


New foodie campaign launches in New Zealand

Tourism WA recently partnered with Flight Centre in a campaign targeting New Zealanders to book a foodie-themed holiday in WA. The ‘Eat, Drink, Explore Perth and Beyond’ campaign featured a special Air New Zealand Perth airfare with accommodation and tour options in Perth, Swan Valley, Fremantle and Margaret River. It also featured foodie walking tours, Swan Valley gourmet cruises and Margaret River vineyard tours. The campaign aimed to leverage opportunities from TV show MasterChef Australia, which aired in New Zealand in November.


‘There’s Still Nothing Like Australia' campaign roll-out

The first phase of Tourism Australia’s new international recovery campaign, 'There’s Still Nothing Like Australia', was launched this week. The campaign, which is supported by the $25 million allocated to Tourism Australia through the Australian Government’s National Bushfire Recovery Fund, aims to stimulate demand in the short-term and gradually rebuild Australia’s reputation as a desirable destination. Tourism Australia is drawing inspiration from its long-standing and highly successful global campaign platform, ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’, by reminding the world that ‘There’s Still Nothing Like Australia’. Tourism Australia is working closely with partners to roll out the campaign globally over the coming weeks. The campaign's global broadcast ad will be unveiled at the Destination Australia Conference in Adelaide on March 12, 2020.


WA’s Hutt Lagoon features in Qantas’ new safety video

As part of Qantas’ Centenary celebration, the airline has created a new inflight safety video that will take passengers on a trip down memory lane. ‘A Century of Safety’ spans 10 decades and showcases some of the moments that have made Qantas the world’s safest airline over their 100 year history. The video is historically accurate to the last detail, to transport passengers through the ages. Peter Allen’s I Still Call Australia Home has also been adapted to suit each decade, from the 1920s ragtime, right through to the stadium rock of the 1980s. As part of Tourism WA’s ongoing partnership with Qantas, the video concludes at WA’s striking Hutt Lagoon pink lake, with the iconic children’s choir singing. The safety video can be viewed here.


Ngurrangga tours joins Signature Experiences collective

Ngurrangga Tours is WA’s latest Aboriginal tourism operator to be elevated to the Discover Aboriginal Experiences (DAE) collective. Ngurrangga Tours’ Clinton Walker helps visitors experience the Pilbara through the eyes of the traditional owners, and learn about the landscape and rock art of the Murujuga and Millstream-Chichester National Parks. The DAE collective is part of the larger Tourism Australia Signature Experience of Australia Program, which is marketed internationally. Western Australia is now represented by seven operators.


West Oz Active Adventure Tours win LUXlife Award

West Oz Active Adventure Tours has taken out the Best Adventure Tour Operator category in the 2020 LUXlife Travel and Tourism Awards. Now in its fourth year, the awards recognise tourism businesses responsible for making dream holidays come to life. West Oz Active Adventure Tours is based in Karijini National Park and offers experiences including canyoning, hiking, climbing, abseiling and tubing. LUXlife is a bimonthly luxury lifestyle magazine, distributed digitally group-wide to a circulation of 238,000, with recipients in more than 170 countries. Find out more about the awards here.


State Government looks to extend Indian Pacific’s journey

The City of Fremantle has welcomed State Government plans to extend the Indian Pacific’s service from the East Perth train station to Fremantle, with some of the preliminary work already underway. The State Government spoke about the plans to coincide with the Indian Pacific’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Read the City of Fremantle’s media release for more information.


Opportunities for nature-based activities in Dwellingup

Expressions of interest are being sought for new commercial nature-based activities in Lane Poole Reserve, Dwellingup. A number of opportunities are available through the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and the Shire of Murray, including a cafe/kiosk at the Dwaarlindjirraap (Baden Powell) day use area, with the potential for bicycle or paddle equipment hire, and an in-park shuttle service for the mountain bike trails. Nearby, within the Dwellingup town site, expressions of interest are also being sought for trail and visitor-based commercial activities at the Dwellingup National Trails Centre. For more information, read the Environment Minister’s media statement.


New Board elected for Amazing South Coast

The Amazing South Coast Tourism Inc (ASCTI) has elected a new Board to lead the Amazing South Coast, welcoming Susan McCabe, Liz Jack, Chelle Fisher and John Fletcher to the table. ASCTI Executive Officer Peter Grigg said he was looking forward to working with the new Board and was excited by the opportunities and challenges that the industry-led team would face. He said the Board members were long-standing business and community-driven people with a vision for where and what the ASC needed to achieve. For further details email ASC Executive Officer, Peter Grigg.


Last chance to register for South East Asia Roadshow

Tourism WA, in partnership with Business Events Perth, is proposing a South East Asia Roadshow in late May/June/July 2020. The roadshow will visit Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia to develop and strengthen business relationships between WA operators and key product managers across both leisure and business events sectors. It will also include frontline agent training and media events aimed at raising awareness about Western Australia. Register your expression of interest via email by Friday, February 28.


Register for national ‘India Host’ program

Tourism industry operators have an opportunity to take part in a national ‘India Host’ program in the lead-up to the 2020 Cricket World Cup. The program, delivered by ATEC, along with Tourism Australia and Austrade, includes culture-ready, product-ready, service-ready and trade-ready modules. All modules are delivered through a 90-minute webinar, ending with a face-to-face graduation event, including a trade engagement session. The training provides the industry with a handbook, tools and resources to assist them in their development in welcoming the Indian visitor. Graduates are badged as an ‘India Host’ and receive a certificate and digital badge (logo). To book click here, or find out more via email.




Visit Tourism WA’s corporate website for a comprehensive list of workshops, conferences and other events that may be of interest to WA’s tourism industry. To list or update your industry event, email


Register for ‘China Host’ tourism workshop

March 10: Ensure you’re ready for China when the market recovers and returns. Come along to ‘China Host’, a full-day workshop, proudly sponsored by the City of Perth and delivered by the Australian Tourism Export Council. This workshop will include a China market update, a product case study and other topics including understanding Chinese travellers, online distribution and Alipay. Click here to secure your spot.


Destination Australia 2020 – resilience and recovery

March 12: Tourism Australia is hosting the sixth annual Destination Australia conference at Adelaide Oval. The conference brings together an incredible line-up of experts to address the themes of resilience and recovery. Now, more than ever, is the time for the tourism industry to pull together, support each other and show the world that Australia remains a safe, welcoming and world-class destination. Register now to secure your spot.


Registrations now open for AFL Tourism workshop

March 17: Hear from Tourism WA on the agency’s 2020 AFL Marketing Campaign; Optus Stadium on how the tourism industry can gain access to AFL visitors; and social media expert Meg Coffey on how to leverage social media to reach AFL followers at Tourism Council WA’s AFL Tourism workshop in Perth. For more information and to register, click here.


Registrations open for Parliament House function

March 31: Registrations are now open for Tourism Council WA’s annual Parliament House Function. Hosted in the courtyard of Parliament House, this special tourism industry function presents an opportunity to network with Members of Parliament while enjoying local produce featured on a menu created by the Parliament House chefs. Due to venue restrictions, there are a strictly limited number of tickets available – for more information and to register, click here.


Registrations open for North West workshops

Tourism Council WA will be holding workshops in Broome and Kununurra in March, covering topics including social media and digital marketing, customer service, and strategic marketing. Registrations for Broome workshops close at 5pm Tuesday, March 3. To view the full schedule and to register, click here.


Register now for regional industry networking events

Registrations are now open for the Tourism Council WA’s Tourism Connect industry sundowners taking place in Broome on March 12; Kununurra on March 18; and Albany on April 1. Tourism Council WA invites members and the wider tourism industry to attend a Tourism Connect event for an evening of networking with key tourism players and industry colleagues, to hear the latest lobbying and industry news. Registrations for the Broome Tourism Connect close 5pm Tuesday, March 3. To see the full schedule and to register, click here.


Register for Adventure Travel World Summit 2020

October 6-9: The Adventure Travel Trade Association is holding an Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) 2020 in Adelaide in October. During the multi-day event, delegates will have an opportunity to network with adventure-based tour operators and media from around the world, advance their professional development and knowledge of adventure travel trends, and help promote their company’s adventure product to the adventure travel industry’s influencers and decision makers. To register and for more information please click here.