Talking Tourism

Issue #594, February 13, 2020


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

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Funding boost for WA tourism and regional aviation

Earlier this week, the State Government announced a $12.85 million package to support the local tourism industry. The package includes the $2.85 million recently announced to drive more interstate and intrastate travellers to holiday in Western Australia, in response to east coast bushfires and the coronavirus. Almost $5 million will be spent immediately on initiatives to encourage travellers to holiday in WA. Road trip campaigns, bucket list natural experiences, and food and wine trails will be the focus of the marketing push. An $8 million fund will also be made available for the State Government to collaborate with airlines on affordable regional airfare initiatives on key routes for residents and visitors. The new package will build on the success of affordable airfares to Exmouth, Monkey Mia, Carnarvon, Broome, Esperance and Albany, and the direct flights scheduled to begin shortly between Busselton and Melbourne, and Kununurra and Melbourne. Read more about the funding package in the Premier, Transport Minister and Tourism Minister’s joint media statement here. For the latest information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) view the links on our corporate website.


Tips to show WA is open for business

Tourism WA has put together a handy step-by-step guide to help tourism operators use social media to spread the word that they are open for business. With many misconceptions circulating around the coronavirus and the east coast bushfires, many potential travellers may be confused about which areas are safe and operational. Your social media channels are a great way to get the message out that your patch is ready and waiting to welcome tourists, with inspiring photos of customers engaging with your offering. The guide includes tips on what makes good content and how best to interact with your audience. As always use the hashtag #ThisisWA to get more reach. Tourism WA will be scouting for posts by our industry partners to repost on our platforms. We are aware of the operator toolkit Tourism Australia recently published as part its domestic #HolidayHereThisYear initiative. Please see this guide as a helpful addition. You can find the guide on our website here.


Ships ahoy for WA in February

The cruise ship season is well underway with five ships scheduled to visit Western Australia in February. The Seven Seas Navigator will arrive in Fremantle tomorrow, Majestic Princess for a maiden call on February 22, Radiance of the Seas on February 25, Pacific Princess on February 27 and Albatros on February 28. Cruise & Maritime Voyage’s Vasco da Gama is in WA for an inaugural home-ported season in Fremantle and departed yesterday for the United Kingdom. The Vasco da Gama is undertaking six itineraries that include visits to regional WA ports of Esperance, Albany, Geraldton, Exmouth and Broome. Tourism WA will also host the Vice President of Southampton in February, accompanied by a group of specialist cruise travel agents for a familiarisation visit to Perth and the Margaret River region. They will visit Busselton ahead of a scheduled call by Cunard’s superliner Queen Mary 2 in March 2020. A change in itinerary announced earlier this week also means the Queen Mary 2 will overnight in Fremantle next Tuesday with 2,660 passengers onboard. For the latest information on cruise ship arrivals and departures, check the Fremantle Ports website.


Crown Towers Perth strikes gold with prestigious Five-Star rating

In a first for WA, Crown Towers Perth has been awarded a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star rating. The luxury accommodation joins just two other hotels in Australia to achieve the global gold standard. The Five-Star score is developed from an independent assessment of up to 900 objective standards, with an emphasis on exceptional service. These standards are the most stringent in the hospitality industry, with Forbes Travel Guide inspectors having stayed anonymously for two nights and three days at each hotel to evaluate every detail of the visit. Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the win also highlighted Perth’s transformation, which offered visitors a range of new accommodation options as well as restaurants, bars, cafes and exciting event and entertainment experiences.


Giant deck chair expected to be a hit on social media

A giant deck chair is the latest attraction on Mandurah’s eastern foreshore and another step in Visit Mandurah’s vision to make the city more attractive to Instagrammers and other social media users. The local tourism organisation commissioned the Mandurah Men’s Shed to make the chair, which now sits in a prime position overlooking the estuary, with Mandurah’s famous Moreton Bay fig tree as the perfect Instagram backdrop. Visit Mandurah General Manager Anita Kane said the project followed the success of the 3D art installations they commissioned late last year. “The pavement paintings by Jenny McCracken were a real crowd-pleaser with locals and visitors alike posting photos of themselves with the interactive scenes,” Ms Kane said. “The same thinking is behind the giant deck chair – it will draw people to a gorgeous part of town where they can sit, relax and have a bit of fun with something that’s out of the ordinary.”

Image courtesy of City of Rockingham

Australia Day honours for local tourism operator

Perth Wildlife Encounters (formerly Rockingham Wild Encounters) owner Terry Howson was presented with the Citizen of the Year award on the Australia Day weekend. Tourism Minister Paul Papalia and City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels presented the award. Terry is now eligible to apply for the Order of Australia for his contribution to tourism.


Expressions of Interest sought for Ningaloo Tourism Advisory Group

The Shire of Exmouth is seeking Expressions of Interest to establish the Ningaloo Tourism Advisory Group (NTAG), with the aim to further develop the World Heritage Ningaloo region. NTAG will include a combination of representatives from the tourism industry, stakeholder government agencies and the Shire of Exmouth. To view the full Terms of Reference, click here.


Perth Convention Bureau changes its name

Perth Convention Bureau has officially changed its name to Business Events Perth (BE Perth), to more accurately define the conferences, tradeshows and corporate events being held in WA. BE Perth chief executive officer Gareth Martin said Perth now had the capacity, infrastructure and product to deliver world-class business events. “By increasing the number of business event travellers and ensuring they experience more of Western Australia during their stay, we will assist in growing the State’s economy, which is good for all Western Australians,” he said. The PCB corporate identity will change, including a new domain and logo. The new general email address for Business Events Perth is


Response to short-stay accommodation inquiry

The State Government is adopting almost all of the recommendations arising from the recent parliamentary inquiry into short-stay accommodation. The Government's response to the 2019 Parliamentary Inquiry, Levelling the Playing Field - Managing the impact of the rapid increase of Short-Term Rentals in Western Australia, aims to introduce better management of the industry at a community level. The inquiry presented 10 recommendations to improve outdated and inconsistent policy governing short-term rentals, and create greater certainty for the tourism industry, accommodation providers and guests. The State Government has adopted a whole-of-Government approach to respond to the recommendations, including investigating appropriate regulatory or legislative frameworks to meet the needs of this rapidly changing sector. A key recommendation is the adoption of a flexible, low-cost and simple registration scheme for all short-term accommodation providers across the State. For more information, read the media statement.


WA Tourism – Our Story forums postponed

Given the significant challenges facing our industry as a result of the bushfires and coronavirus, Tourism WA has decided to delay the WA Tourism – Our Story forums until next month. While we recognise this will be an inconvenience for some operators, we feel it is the right decision given the current situation.  If you have RSVPed to any of the forums, you will receive a notification once the new dates have been set. The new sessions will also be advertised in Talking Tourism.


EOI for proposed 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


Registrations open for Yallingup and North West workshops

Tourism Council WA will be holding workshops in Yallingup this month and in Broome and Kununurra during March, covering topics including social media and digital marketing, customer service, and strategic marketing. Registrations for the Yallingup workshops close 5pm Tuesday, February 18. 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 and for some drinks a nibbles. To see the full schedule and to register, click here.


Last chance to submit papers for 2020 WA Tourism Conference

February 14: This is your last chance to submit papers and topics from potential speakers for the 2020 WA Tourism Conference. The 2020 conference, sponsored by Tourism WA, will be held on August 17-19 in Perth and will provide delegates with opportunities for professional and business development, networking and engagement with industry colleagues, and the chance to hear from industry-leading speakers on critical industry issues and innovative ideas. Submissions close 5pm WST February 14, 2020. For more information and submission requirements, click here.


Registrations close soon for Perth Network@Night

February 26: Join us aboard Sealink’s MV James Stirling for the first Network@Night for 2020. The focus of the Tourism Council WA’s Network@Night events is purely on networking - mix and mingle with industry colleagues, make new connections, and engage with TCWA's Preferred Suppliers. Attendees can also meet the Tourism Council WA team and learn more about making their membership work for their business, as well as win prizes. Registrations close 5pm Tuesday, February 18. For more information and to register, click here.