top of page

Tourism Advisory Forum summary 1 July 2022

Venue: National Convention Centre, Canberra


Leonard Hill Deputy CEO AIATSIS

John Hart OAM Executive Chair Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Tourism

Jonathan Kobus Director VisitCanberra

Leonard Hill

Mr Hill introduced the Ngurra project as a National Indigenous knowledge and cultural centre and a national resting place to house and care for repatriated, limited provenance ancestral remains. In January this year, then Prime Minister Morrison announced the commitment and investment of $316.5 million to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural precinct in the heart of Canberra. The Ngurra Cultural Precinct will sit at the heart of our nation’s capital, Commonwealth Place in the National Triangle, close to the centre of government and alongside other principal Australian cultural institutions from where our national story is told.

The Ngurra project will provide a new home for AIATSIS and aims to tell the story of 65,000 years occupation of Australia.

Key points from Mr Hill’s overview of the Ngurra project:

  • Ngurra will not be a burial site

  • Estimated size will be around 70,000m2

  • There have been positive conversations with the Tent Embassy and there is no intention to interrupt their activities or functions.

Former Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Ken Wyatt launched an architectural design competition for the Ngurra project, which commenced in early March and closed in April. The timeline and format for the design competition is:

  • Stage 1: Expressions of interest, with top four teams invited to stage 2

  • Stage 2: Shortlisted designers have two months working time. The shortlisted competitors are:

    • BVN architecture


    • Denton Corker Marshall

    • Peter Stutchbury Architecture

Ngurra project timeline:

  • Architectural design competition (March to July)

  • Consultation (ongoing)

  • Detailed final design (2023)

  • Construction period of approximately three years (2023 – 2026)

  • Open for operations (2025 - 2026)

John Hart OAM
Executive Chair Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Tourism

Mr Hart discussed the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s strategy to support tourism recovery and outlined new data regarding tourism in Australia.

2022 July 1 Hart Tourism Advocacy FY23
Download PPTX • 1.32MB

Key data about domestic travel in Australia:

  • Currently at 105% of pre-covid domestic forward bookings

  • Every state/territory in Australia expect ACT and WA have surpassed 100% pre-covid domestic forward bookings

  • Other markets travelling elsewhere are at 141% of pre-covid levels – Australia is underperforming in this area

  • Domestic aviation capacity to Australia is at 109% of pre-covid levels. This is estimated to increase to 120% by December 2022. Leisure travel is 58% of forward bookings, with 42% corporate

  • Inbound forward bookings from key markets to Australia are at 47% of pre-covid levels, compared to 61% from all markets to all international destinations and 57% to long haul destinations

  • Outbound Australian travel is outperforming inbound Australian travel at 80% to 51% of pre-covid levels

  • Financial reasons have now surpassed covid-19 concerns for reasons to not travel internationally

Mr Hart discussed how arrival of bookings from key markets to Australia will decrease over the next 6 months from Eastern and Western markets labelling the situation as the “valley

of death”. Mr Hart outlined policy responses recommended by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to help increase booking arrival during this period. These include:

  • Increasing Tourism Australia budget to $240 million for the next 12 months to create immediate visitation

  • Increase Australia’s cost competitiveness by:

    • Introducing fee-free tourism visas

    • Review long-term visa fees and acknowledging the relationship between visa fees and visitation

    • Reviewing the Tourism Refund Scheme (TRS)

  • Supporting Australian Businesses by:

    • Delaying the increase in minimum wage for the tourism sector

    • Reviewing the apprenticeship boost program

  • Growing the Australian workforce by:

    • Increasing productivity in individual businesses

    • Addressing areas of labour shortages by finding solutions in all areas of labour

    • Investing in workforce skills development

  • Increase Australian airport’s passenger facilitation:

    • Using the pandemic period to build capacity and increase passenger flow through airports

    • Providing effective passenger services

    • Moving to contactless passenger movement

    • Removing funding disincentives for new airports to enter the international market

  • Growing Australia exports by:

    • Reopening the Export Market Development Scheme to all previous recipients

    • Allow businesses to diversify into short haul markets

  • Increase tourism product development by:

    • Increase government funding in tourism infrastructure in both domestic and international markets

Jonathan Kobus
Director VisitCanberra

Mr Kobus invites you to contribute to the 2030 Tourism Strategy for the ACT. A discussion paper is now available on the VisitCanberra website with submission due by Friday September 2.

The discussion paper has a range of questions to help you frame responses and contributions. These can be found in the attached presentation and in the discussion paper available on the VisitCanberra website.

2022 July 1 Kobus Presentation VisitCanberra CRTAF T2030
Download PPTX • 9.68MB

The discussion paper will be a staged approach:

Phase 1: 2023 to 2026

  • Domestic and international aviation

  • Domestic and international marketing strategy

  • Ongoing development of Canberra brand

  • Industry development

  • Research and data

  • Labour and skills

Phase 2: 2026 2030

  • Expanding international connectivity

  • Attracting investment in new infrastructure

  • Major event attraction

  • Skills and labour force

  • Globally connected and engaged

  • Experience development

Strategy development timeline:

  • Framing the priorities: the paper will help shape the conversation on key areas and potential opportunity for sector recovery and future growth out to 2030.

  • Consult: VisitCanberra will work with industry and other key stakeholders to identify additional areas of focus that can support the future path and develop a shared vision

  • Collaborate: VisitCanberra will continue to engage with industry on innovative solutions that can address the key challenges facing the tourism sector

  • Set supporting targets: Develop ambitious but achievable goals for a staged recovery and sustainable growth. Including visitor expenditure targets for the ACT that align with national targets outlines under THRIVE 2030

  • Strategise: Finalise long-term plan for the visitor economy, with a commitment to launch the 2030 Tourism Strategy for the ACT by the end of 2022.

Some key points about aviation in Canberra:

  • The first JetStar flight from Melbourne landed in Canberra on Friday 1 July

  • JetStar flights from the Gold Coast to Canberra will begin in September 2022

  • Pre-covid 65% of Canberra’s aviation market was regional NSW and Sydney – Canberra now has multiple carriers to every capital city in Australia

Survey feedback from the recent tourism conference:

  • 97% of attendees were very satisfied or satisfied with the conference overall.

  • 93% agreed that content presented was relevant to their business/organisation

  • 86% agreed that the conference provided valuable information and key takeaways for their business/organisation

  • 93% agreed the conference provided quality networking opportunities

  • 97% would attend an event like this in the future

  • Most relevant and popular presentations based on ratings and comments:

    • Pip Harrison, Tourism Australia

    • Sam Palmer, Austrade

    • Gus Balbontin, Alternative Futurist

    • Tourism 2030 Workshop


The Canberra Region Tourism Awards are now open. Nominations close in July and submissions close in September. The awards will be delivered by the National Capital Attractions Association.


The next Tourism Advisory Forum will be on Friday 5 August, 2022. Subscribe to get alerts about upcoming events.


bottom of page