Talking Tourism

Issue 609, May 21, 2020


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

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Apply now for WA Tourism Recovery Fund

Eligible tourism operators are encouraged to submit their application for the recently announced WA Tourism Recovery Fund. The fund provides an initial $10.4 million in one-off cash grants for up to 1,600 individual small businesses around the State. The $6,500 grants will 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. The State Government, through Tourism WA, last week launched a $14.4 million Tourism Recovery Program, which is made up of two funding programs, to support tourism operators around the State to adapt and refocus their businesses in the COVID-19 landscape.


COVID-19 Safety Plans introduced

The WA Government has announced changes to the restrictions on certain businesses, premises and places, which came into effect from Monday, May 18. This included allowing some businesses to reopen with a COVID Safety Plan in place. The plan must be completed by all businesses that are re-opening or broadening their business model, such as those that were providing take-away and are expanding to provide a dine-in service. To complete the plan, businesses must outline the steps they will take to implement requirements and advice set out in detailed COVID-19 Safety Guidelines. Industry-specific COVID Safety Plans are available for a range of businesses including bars, cafes, restaurants and pubs. Premises that were not forced to close and have not changed their business format may voluntarily complete a COVID Safety Plan and display a COVID Safety Plan Certificate. View the COVID Safety Guidelines and read the WA Government media statement for more information.


Participate in tourism recovery

Tourism WA has launched new social activity, called Adventure Awaits. Tourism WA developed the activity in partnership with the Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) and WAITOC. The objective is to drive awareness and build desire for experiences in Western Australia and drive bookings to local operators. Tourism businesses are encouraged to use the hashtag #AdventureAwaits and campaign messaging on their social channels. There is also a landing page, which will include the promotions. To have a promotion included in the campaign, please contact: Destination Perth; Australia’s South West; Australia’s North West; Australia’s Golden Outback; Australia’s Coral Coast; and WAITOC. If you’re not sure which RTO is applicable to your business, contact our Industry Support Team.


Register for online business forum

Business Station and the AusIndustry Commission is holding a COVID Online Business Forum for WA’s hospitality and tourism sectors. The forum will provide participants with the opportunity to hear from experts in the hospitality and tourism industries experienced in social and digital marketing, managing large hospitality businesses, and managing tourism destination businesses. They will provide strategies to re-engage customers and pivot businesses to re-launch post-pandemic. Businesses in the tourism or hospitality sector, are welcome to join the discussion to brainstorm strategies and discuss ways to re-launch. Questions can be emailed prior to the session or asked live to the panel during the webinar. See the speaker line-up and register for this free event here


Biscuits a welcome reminder of WA

Staff at Tourism WA’s European office reached out to about 100 key trade partners in Europe with a uniquely Australian gesture during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tourism WA’s team enlisted the skills of an expat Aussie baker in Munich to make 30kg of Anzac biscuits, then shared the gift to lift the spirits of trade partners and remind them that once travel is possible again, WA looks forward to welcoming them back. The gift was accompanied by a note outlining the history of the Anzac biscuit and was met with a positive response.


Virtual training continues in UK

Tourism WA has hosted various training webinars for travel trade, including the ‘TC Training Festival’ initiative launched this month by Travel Counsellors and Tourism Australia Aussie Specialist webinars. Training sessions featured Australia’s most Instagrammable Road Trip along the Great Southern edge, as well as the new Virtual WA hub, helping to keep WA’s amazing experiences at the top of consumers’ minds. A final Aussie Specialist webinar will be held at the end of May, jointly hosted by Queensland and WA. Coast to Coast: Quokkas, Rainforests & Reefs will focus on incredible aquatic and coastal experiences.


Online Aussie Specialist training

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.


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.


Register for Tourism Australia industry webinar

Tourism Australia is hosting a series of webinars on coronavirus each week. The next webinar will be held at 9am (WST) tomorrow, May 22. Presenters include Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison; Emeritus at CAPA – Centre for Aviation Chairman Peter Harbison; AccorHotels Pacific Chief Operating Officer Simon McGrath and Tourism Australia Global Manager, Public Relations, Emma Sturgiss. 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.


Applications closing soon for Tourism Australia program

Applications for Tourism Australia’s Business Events Australia Advance Program 2020-21 will close on 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. Applications for the first round close on Monday, June 1. For more information, click here.


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.


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.