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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 3853 ..

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will conclude on this. I need to respond to the point of order as it goes to the question asked by Mr Cornwell.

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order: does he need to respond?

MR SPEAKER: He is completing his answer, and people are entitled to respond to points of order.

MR STANHOPE: I am completing my answer. Mr Cornwell asked me would I arrange to have the ACT government counsel ask a witness before the inquiry certain questions-the question being: why did he not relay to the people of the ACT the certain knowledge he had that the fire would strike Canberra? I'm happy to have the ACT government counsel ask Mr Cheney why he did not yell this from the rooftops.


MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the minister for tourism. Minister, the ACT has staged two of its four Rugby World Cup matches. The third, between Canada and Wales, is tonight-for those people who want to go and watch it. Can the minister inform the Assembly of the success of the Rugby World Cup and the overall success the Spring into Canberra campaign has brought to the ACT's tourist industry?

MR QUINLAN: What an excellent question! Good news, Mr Speaker. Australian Capital Tourism is running the campaign Spring into Canberra. It runs seasonal campaigns. Spring includes Floriade, the World Cup and the Healthpact Australian Masters Games. The government is very proud of the success that these structured programs are having. That is overlain with the rugby celebration activities we have undertaken.

Several weeks ago I met with leaders of the tourism industry-the tourism taskforce decision makers, as they style themselves. At that stage a number of the leading hoteliers in Canberra informed me that their hotels were full, well before the World Cup started. There were full houses across Canberra.

The government conducts research. Colmar Brunton was commissioned to undertake visitor satisfaction surveys on a quarterly basis, and we are now receiving key findings. Three-quarters of visitors stated that their recent visit to Canberra exceeded their expectations. One-third of those went as far as to say that it "completely"exceeded their expectations. The high overall satisfaction rate carries through to the "intention of respondents"to visit Canberra again. Over 70 per cent indicated that they will "probably"or "definitely"visit Canberra again in the future, and 90 per cent would recommend it to their friends and acquaintances.

A lot of this has to do with the particular events we have on at the moment, but it also has to do with the campaigns that have been run: Spring into Canberra; the Hands on Canberra campaign, where we work with the industry to package what we are doing; repeat business promotions, which we are operating through AHA and the Canberra Accommodation Association; and through the Experience Canberra and Region website, which provides information for agents and tourism operators across Australia.

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