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Tourism Advisory Forum August 2

Monday 2 August 2021 | National Convention Centre


  • Andrew Barr, Chief Minister of the ACT

  • Malcolm Snow, CEO City Renewal Authority

  • Jonathan Kobus, Director, Visit Canberra


Andrew Barr, Chief Minister of the ACT

The Chief Minister (CM) provided an update on a range of issues of interest to the tourism sector.

National Cabinet update

The CM emphasised the way out of this pandemic is vaccination. The outbreak in Sydney remains the biggest risk to infection in Canberra. He ran through the targets set by National Cabinet and noted:

  • 77 per cent of Australians over 16 years of age are willing to be vaccinated as soon as they can

  • 17 per cent of Australians are hesitant – and if the country is to reach an 80 per cent vaccination rate across the eligible this cohort is critical

  • 6 per cent are not willing to be vaccinated.

The CM noted the ACT is on track for 50% of our population to have the first dose and 25% to be fully vaccinated by Friday 6 August.

The CM noted if cases are detected in Canberra, with people infectious while in the community, the ACT Government will follow advice from the Doherty Institute and Treasury and immediately implement a short, sharp lock down. He said this is the best response from both a health and economic perspective.

Tourism update

The CM reiterated the Canberra tourism market is suffering a demand side shock exacerbated by lockdowns in key markets, especially Sydney.

The CM acknowledged the impact being felt by tourism sector businesses and outlined how the ACT Government is assisting the tourism sector financially (with details on the ACT Government website) as well as recalibrating thinking on target markets. CM asked attendees to help think of ways Canberrans can support local businesses and sought industry input to come up with new ideas to create demand in southern NSW and other available markets. The CM also asked attendees to think innovatively for solutions and ideas to improve business productivity and support the labour market. He noted the ChooseCBR initiative would not return but wanted to explore other partnership ideas with the sector. The CM posed the question ‘what can we do together to drive opportunities?’

The Chief Minister continues to raise the issue of wider Commonwealth support for the tourism sector for businesses outside declared Covid hot spots, such as those in the ACT. He asked attendees to also raise this issue through national peak bodies to help get it on the national agenda.

Regarding Floriade, the CM said the government is looking at all options. He said the event will most likely go ahead, albeit in some modified delivery. He said it will be ticket based for contract tracing purposes (although still free).


Malcolm Snow, CEO City Renewal Authority

2021 Malcolm Snow CRA Tourism Forum presentation (2)
Download PPTX • 37.78MB

Malcom Snow’s presentation focused on CRA’s work on developing the visitor economy through several new development projects and business grants. He said the CRA’s vision is to make Canberra city a ‘compelling destination’.

CRA research shows tourists find the city difficult to navigate and have very low awareness of the city centre and its attractions. Mr Snow noted the great cities of the world are walkable cities and the CRA seeks to make Canberra city as pedestrian friendly as possible. He said there is also a need to improve ‘place quality’ to achieve a high quality and diverse public environment.

Mr Snow noted that some traffic delays are expected with the construction of projects including the work to raise London Circuit.

Mr Snow’s presentation is available above and includes details of the new City Project Portal, an interactive digital tool where people can explore and engage with upgrade works.


Jonathan Kobus, Director Visit Canberra

VisitCanberra Presentation CRTAF 2 Aug
Download PPTX • 8.87MB

The Director detailed ACT Government support measures for impacted business within the tourism sector. You can see details in his presentation and Mr Kobus encouraged people to use the website for details.

Key events on the horizon:

  • Jetstar flights (9 September) CBR-BNE. Mr Kobus described this as a ‘milestone moment for the city’.

  • Floriade (11 September to 10 October)

  • Summer of major exhibitions

  • Spring & summer campaign activity

  • Business events and education tourism

  • Tourism industry conference which has been rescheduled with more information around November.


Next Canberra Region Tourism Advisory Forum

Special guest: Hon Dan Tehan MP, Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment

When: Friday 13 August from 9am to 10am

Where: Hyatt Hotel Canberra.


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