Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 26 October 2017) . . Page.. 4456 ..
MR BARR: I thank Ms Cheyne for the question. We continue to deliver on our commitments to boost the value of tourism to the territory’s economy and to see the number of visitors to our city increase. Our clear and well-supported tourism and major events strategies that we took to the election are obviously working; we have seen all-time record numbers of overnight visitors and expenditure in our economy, both from the domestic and international markets.
The latest tourism statistics for the year ending June 2017 show that the ACT welcomed 2.65 million domestic overnight visitors, a growth of 5.2 per cent on the previous year, and 221,479 international visitors travelled to Canberra during the same period, a growth rate 9.1 per cent. These visitors spent a combined total of $2.16 billion in the territory economy, and that is an all-time record figures.
Delivering on our commitment to support more flights to Canberra has seen the Chinese market grow by 25 per cent in the past 12 months. The low-cost carrier Tigerair has entered the market offering eight flights a week from Melbourne and three from Brisbane. That means 200,000 seats are now available on Tigerair from Melbourne and Brisbane to Canberra each year.
The government’s major event fund is also attracting and acquiring major events and new shows to the territory, along with support to the Canberra Convention Bureau to attract more conventions and high-yielding delegates to Canberra.
MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, how has the government built on its commitments to improve the major events calendar?
MR BARR: The government has invested $1 million a year over three years in the major events fund to position the territory as a leading region for both public and private events. Since the special event fund opened in 2011, 21 exhibitions and events have been delivered, attracting around 3 million attendees and delivering approximately $636 million in economic return to the territory.
The major events strategy that I launched in July provides a strategic framework for attracting new major events and enhancing existing ones that contribute to our economy and to our broader community. For example, to create an environment that supports event attraction, the ACT government and the National Gallery of Australia recently signed an MOU to enable the parties to collaborate effectively to host several major events and exhibitions over the coming years. Hyper Real, which is currently at the National Gallery, is the first major event under this new flagship MOU.
Floriade has concluded for another year. Anyone who attended saw the investments that have been made to ensure that the event continues to evolve and develop by providing engaging experiences and new reasons to visit. This included an opening night concert, expansion of the event’s opening hours, expansion of NightFest across two weekends and, for the first time, the Floriade Fringe event.
MS CODY: Chief Minister, how has the government delivered on its commitment to attract more airlines to Canberra?