Talking Tourism

Issue 646, February 25, 2021


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

Image 1

Applications now open for ATE 2021

Applications are now open for Australia’s largest tourism tradeshow, the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE). This year ATE will feature in-person and virtual events to connect our tourism industry with international and domestic travel buyers. ATE Live will be held from June 6-9 in Sydney for domestic buyers, frontline travel sellers and international buyers who are based in Australia, or located in countries permitted to travel to Australia. ATE Online will follow from June 10-17 for international buyers who are unable to travel due to border restrictions. Australian sellers may apply to attend both events, with applications closing on March 19, 2021. For more information, including subsidised participation fees and to register, visit the ATE website.


Exmouth makes top 10 in awards

Exmouth has come eighth in’s 2021 Aussie Town of the Year Awards. The annual awards recognise some of Australia’s best destinations, based on their accommodation quality, affordability and traveller satisfaction. This year, the awards also acknowledged destinations that have met the changing needs of travellers over the past 12 months, by offering increased flexibility, good-value deals and appealing activities and attractions. Exmouth was recognised for its diving experiences on Ningaloo Reef and breathtaking canyons and wildflowers at Cape Range National Park. For more information, read the media release.


$40 million Indigenous Tourism Fund to help recovery

WA Aboriginal tourism businesses are encouraged to apply for funding through the recently announced $40 million Indigenous Tourism Fund. The Federal Government funding includes up to $12 million in tourism grants to help Aboriginal businesses and organisations develop new products, and purchase systems and equipment. Applications for the first round of the grants close on March 22, 2021. The fund also includes $10 million towards a mentoring program to offer businesses individualised support, and up to $17 million for states and territories to co-invest with the Commonwealth on significant Aboriginal tourism projects. In addition, $1 million will help establish a National Indigenous Tourism Advisory Group to advise on priorities and the implementation of the fund. For more information, visit the National Indigenous Australians Agency website.


Applications open for WA Virtual Roadshow - UK and Europe

We are organising a virtual networking and educational roadshow to connect outbound trade partners from Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom with key WA tourism operators. The roadshow, held from April 19-30, 2021, will enable participants to learn, exchange information and build relationships with key decision makers and front-line agents through virtual events. To apply, download the application form on Tourism WA’s corporate website and email it to by March 14, 2021.


Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards return

The Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards return in 2021 to recognise business excellence and innovation. Tourism Council WA (TCWA) will be hosting a live webinar on Monday, March 8, 2021, to provide information on how to enter. Changes have been made to this year’s awards, including a reduced and revised question set for most entries, an extension to the qualifying period and a Judges’ Choice Award. The WA Tourism Awards are sponsored by Tourism WA and are judged by a panel of industry volunteers. Find out more about the awards on TCWA’s website or register your interest to be part of the judging panel by emailing


Energy grants for accommodation providers

The Australian Government has announced grants of $10,000 to $25,000 for small and medium hotels, motels and serviced apartments with one to 99 guestrooms to help reduce energy use, improve energy productivity and deliver carbon abatement. Applications for the Hotel Energy Uplift Program can be submitted between February 24 and April 1, 2021, and will be assessed based on eligibility criteria, submission time and date and distribution of funding per jurisdiction. For more information on the program, visit


World’s biggest dam mural opens in Collie

The world’s biggest dam mural has officially opened in Collie. The 8000sqm mega-mural was painted by internationally-renowned Australian artist Guido van Helten and is inspired by local stories and photographs which reflect the community. The mural is titled 'Reflections' and demonstrates how the waterways are culturally significant to all people, locals and visitors, both in the past and present and symbolises the future of the Collie River Region as a place of natural beauty, recreation and solidarity. As part of the Collie Mural Trail, the project also included 19 other murals that were painted in the town of Collie, bringing the total number of murals to 40.


Expressions of Interest open for Access Asia Business

WA businesses and entities interested in operating in Asian markets can apply for round three of the Access Asia Business Grants program. Coordinated by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, grants of up to $25,000 are available on a net co-investment basis. The funding aims to support eligible businesses to strengthen their export and trade initiatives in Asian markets. For more information and applications forms, visit Access Asia Business Grants, email or phone 6277 2927. Grants are open until 12pm Friday, 5 March, 2021.


National India Host Program for 2021

The India Host Program, developed by ATEC, in partnership with Tourism Australia and Austrade is back for 2021. More than 600,000 Indians live in Australia and the program will offer valuable insights into how to market to the local Indian community in preparation for welcoming back the India international traveller, when the time is right. The online program covers content including Indian culture, identifying target segments and tailoring product, as well as how to make your product marketing and trade ready for Indian customers. The program will run nationally from March –June with dates to be released soon. Register your interest here.




To list or update an industry event, please email


Register for workshops and networking

March: Register now for Tourism Council WA’s (TCWA) training workshops and Tourism Connect networking events throughout March in Broome and Kununurra. Attend the training workshops to upskill and learn new things in Broome (March 9 and 10), and Kununurra (March 23 and 24). Afterwards, join Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall at the networking events. For the full schedule of events and to secure your spot, visit TCWA’s website.


Destination Australia 2021

March 4: Tourism Australia will host the seventh annual Destination Australia conference at the ICC Sydney and online. The conference will focus on the future of Australian tourism, with high profile speakers sharing consumer insights, global trends and discussing key opportunities for the industry in a post COVID-19 world. Watch a recap of last year’s event on Tourism Australia’s website and stay tuned for more information on speakers and registration.


Agri-tourism workshop in Mingenew

March 11: The Shire of Mingenew is hosting a free workshop on the opportunities and challenges of the agricultural tourism sector. If you are thinking about setting up a business, or want to do even more with an existing one, this workshop will provide practical advice from industry experts, as well as networking opportunities. The workshop will be held on Thursday, March 11, from 10am to 4pm. For more information including how to register, visit the Shire of Mingenew website.


Spirit of Trails Conference

March 14-16: The Forum Advocating Cultural and Eco-Tourism Inc (FACET) is hosting the Spirit of Trails Conference. The conference provides a chance to learn more about how tourism businesses, current and emerging trail towns can benefit from WA’s trail development. A guided pre-conference tour will be held on Sunday, March 14, a full day conference program on Monday, March 15 and a post-conference tour on Tuesday, March 16. Register and read more on the FACET website.