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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (12 February) . . Page.. 305..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

Australian Capital Tourism to respond quickly and effectively to new opportunities as they arise.

While we had some notice that the airline was going to introduce these services, Australian Capital Tourism moved quickly to ensure that there were systems in place to take advantage of the opportunity. For probably the first time, and certainly within recent memory, Qantas is promoting Canberra as a tourism destination in Perth and Western Australia. The reduced fares and holiday packages offered by Qantas in the Sunday Times and in the Weekend Australian newspapers have opened up a new tourism market in Canberra and the region.

Recent research undertaken by Australian Capital Tourism shows that Perth residents had little awareness of what the ACT and region had to offer. Perth and the broader Western Australia have not traditionally been target markets for Canberra and the region due to the time-consuming travel and expensive fares.

The focus groups conducted by Australian Capital Tourism also indicated that Canberra was considered a high-risk destination, which was similar to results of research conducted into the Adelaide market. When I say "high risk"let me ensure members that that is not high risk in terms of terrorism; it is high risk in terms of "Will we have a good time, or won't we?"and "Will we enjoy the holiday, or won't we?"

Australian Capital Tourism has developed a range of marketing and sales strategies to support the market campaign in Perth. The campaign will feature a Canberra exhibition stand for the very first time at the Perth holiday and travel expo in mid-March. It will also be advertising on television and in the press, offering a familiarisation program for travel agents.

Experience from the Adelaide campaign indicated that high-risk destinations have consumers consulting their travel agents for advice on what they should do and what is available. To ensure that the industry is aware of what there is to see and do here and in the region, Australian Capital Tourism is hosting familiarisation of the top 12 leisure travel agents in Perth identified by Qantas Holidays in March, so that they can experience the Canberra and capital region.

Familiarisation will be conducted for Qantas Holidays reservation staff from Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australian Capital Tourism is undertaking a travel industry presentation in Perth, to which all Western Australian agents will be invited, on the night of 11 March, showcasing the national capital and regional tourism product and promoting Qantas promotional fares for direct flights, which will be on sale at that time. All attendees will receive copies of the product manual, holiday planner and will be shown the new branding.

Members, you will gather that Australian Capital Tourism have been on the front foot. They have undertaken a comprehensive promotional campaign, and I am sure that it will assist both to grow tourism in the ACT and to break down the stereotyped view of Canberra from afar and, hopefully, put Canberra in a better light for people as far away as Perth. I congratulate Australian Capital Tourism for the job that they have done and are doing in this regard.

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