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Refined approach key to tourism, business growth for Canberra

By Jenifer Dwyer Slee - 15 December 2015 10

Jennifer Dwyer Slee

Every city interested in making its mark on the world continually looks for ways to become more attractive to business and tourism. Ways to shine brighter on the world stage, and not just because they are proud of who they are. It’s because building a city’s economy through conferences, events and tourism in general is big, big business. And it’s highly competitive.

Canberra, for a city its size, already punches well above its weight and in recent years it’s astonishing what has transpired here. In the last 12 months, the National Convention Centre alone has held 320 conferences and events, which has brought $60.6 million to the ACT’s tourism economy.

But is there more we can do, say, over the next five years? You bet, but it’s about building on what we’ve already achieved and refining our approach — continuing along the path on which we’re already travelling.

We’re working on securing international flights. We’re already centrally located and accessible to Sydney and Melbourne, but international flights would be a true game changer. It’s time. It’s needed. The excitement is building. It’s hard to fathom just what the ripple effects would be. Phenomenal. And I can’t wait.

Our cultural institutions need to continue to stretch in every direction to keep our social calendar packed with top-notch events that draw both national and international attention. Each year they work hard to offer something new, fresh and different. It’s essential that this continue. This includes the likes of Floriade, the Multicultural Festival, Enlighten and our very own red-carpet fashion event, Fashfest.

Why is this so important? It’s important because our cultural icons, blockbusters and these flagship events are relevant to not only leisure travellers. They’re relevant to business visitors who can’t wait to bust out of their conference or work meeting to enjoy with the capital has to offer. And they do …

We need to highlight the natural beauty and clean, fresh air Canberra offers. I walk to work every day and am free to breathe deeply.

We also need to throw our weight behind everything that the capital offers. What our award-winning wineries offer, and how close they are to the city. How easy it is to get around the capital. One minute you’re in a café in the city and the next you’re experiencing a flock of gang gang cockatoos flying overhead as you walk outdoors. We should never take this for granted but work as hard as we can to promote this. Then promote our uniqueness again, and again and again to bring the customer experience to life. Our investment in our city is, after all, for future generations.

And speaking of cafes. Our hospitality industry is booming and needs to continue to be innovative and continue to focus on service and the customer experience. Indeed, every business operating in this city needs to think ‘continual improvement’ for the betterment of the capital. Why wouldn’t we?

Jenifer Dwyer Slee is the Director of Sales and Marketing at the National Convention Centre, working for the InterContinental Hotels Group. She is also Deputy Chair, Destination Marketing and Visitor Experience Sub Committee, on the Tourism Industry Advisory Council.

Jenifer has just won a Lifetime Award from the Professional Conference Organisers Association, for ‘Support, Encouragement and Mentoring to the Business Events Sector in Australia’. She is the only Canberran to have received such an award.

Photo: Martin Ollman

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10 Responses to
Refined approach key to tourism, business growth for Canberra
1
farnarkler 9:09 pm
15 Dec 15
#

Air NZ said they have no plans to fly into Canberra so why would other airlines want to? We’re too close to Sydney and when Badgerys Creek opens no airline will want to be bothered flying here. More advertisements for CBR in Sydney would be better.

2
dungfungus 9:25 am
16 Dec 15
#

“…..experiencing a flock of gang gang cockatoos flying overhead ……”
And where in Canberra would that be?

3
miz 7:50 pm
16 Dec 15
#

Look, there has to be decent advertising that addresses the fact that the ‘Canberra’ Australians love to hate is not the real, ‘hidden’ Canberra locals know. You have to address this issue head on to shatter the rock hard preconceived ideas. You cannot pretend it’s not there. Eg an shot of politicians arguing in Parliament House shatters and you realise it’s a mirror (of the rest of Australia), underneath which appear montages of our great wineries, nature parks, eateries, galleries etc.

4
No_Nose 8:13 pm
16 Dec 15
#

dungfungus said :

“…..experiencing a flock of gang gang cockatoos flying overhead ……”
And where in Canberra would that be?

I gather from your previous posts that you live in the deep South…perhaps you should come on over to the North for a visit my friend, you won’t be disappointed!

There are Gang-Gangs a-plenty all over the glorious North. From the hipster Inner North through staid Belconnen to the avenues of Gungahlin and out to our country cousins at Majura and Hall barely a day goes by where we are not regaled by flights of Gang-Gangs serenading us to our rest.

(OK…slightly over the top…but seriously, there are gang-gangs everywhere on this side of the lake!)

5
BenjaminRose1991 9:00 pm
16 Dec 15
#

Aside from Telstra Tower needing a renovation and a concrete destaining. The ACT and Commonwealth governments need to work together and spend a truly huge amount of money on advertisements. An ad or two during prime-time on TV in Sydney and Melbourne, Television and aggressive social media adverts in the U.S, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, and Europe. Have clips of the people walking around Burley Griffin at sunset, the wineries, Tidbinbilla (inc. Tracking Station), NGA, Parliaments, Questacon, Summernats, and those dessert mugs with pretzels from Manuka etc.

Basically “Canberra’s Greatest Hits” in 60 seconds or less. Just no clips of the House of Reps please 🙂

6
miz 9:24 pm
16 Dec 15
#

I’m in the south too – Never seen a gang gang but we have lovely black cockies and FLOCKS of pesky sulphur crested cockies.

7
rommeldog56 10:49 pm
16 Dec 15
#

BenjaminRose1991 said :

Aside from Telstra Tower needing a renovation and a concrete destaining. The ACT and Commonwealth governments need to work together and spend a truly huge amount of money on advertisements. An ad or two during prime-time on TV in Sydney and Melbourne, Television and aggressive social media adverts in the U.S, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, and Europe. Have clips of the people walking around Burley Griffin at sunset, the wineries, Tidbinbilla (inc. Tracking Station), NGA, Parliaments, Questacon, Summernats, and those dessert mugs with pretzels from Manuka etc.

Basically “Canberra’s Greatest Hits” in 60 seconds or less. Just no clips of the House of Reps please 🙂

Yep – lots of stuff to promote. Just don’t repeat those awful “CBR” TV adds of a while ago that were predominately about pretty young things………

8
rosscoact 7:11 am
17 Dec 15
#

BenjaminRose1991 said :

Aside from Telstra Tower needing a renovation and a concrete destaining. The ACT and Commonwealth governments need to work together and spend a truly huge amount of money on advertisements. An ad or two during prime-time on TV in Sydney and Melbourne, Television and aggressive social media adverts in the U.S, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, and Europe. Have clips of the people walking around Burley Griffin at sunset, the wineries, Tidbinbilla (inc. Tracking Station), NGA, Parliaments, Questacon, Summernats, and those dessert mugs with pretzels from Manuka etc.

Basically “Canberra’s Greatest Hits” in 60 seconds or less. Just no clips of the House of Reps please 🙂

Crikey, that will unleash the Riot Act hounds. The last time a CBR ad was done (which did just that) the usual suspects pilloried it unmercifully.

I agree though, Canberra is a wonderful place, we just need to laugh at the congenitally negative people who seem to get more air than they deserve.

9
dungfungus 7:26 am
17 Dec 15
#

No_Nose said :

dungfungus said :

“…..experiencing a flock of gang gang cockatoos flying overhead ……”
And where in Canberra would that be?

I gather from your previous posts that you live in the deep South…perhaps you should come on over to the North for a visit my friend, you won’t be disappointed!

There are Gang-Gangs a-plenty all over the glorious North. From the hipster Inner North through staid Belconnen to the avenues of Gungahlin and out to our country cousins at Majura and Hall barely a day goes by where we are not regaled by flights of Gang-Gangs serenading us to our rest.

(OK…slightly over the top…but seriously, there are gang-gangs everywhere on this side of the lake!)

We have white and black cockatoos, long billed corellas, eastern and crimson rosellas, king parrots, galahs, occasional lorikeets but no gang gangs. The gang gangs used to be here and they loved feeding on that plant pest cottoneaster but it has been all but eliminated down here.
Perhaps the gang gangs are anticipating the vibe of roosting on the overhead wires soon to be above the tram line and that’s why they moved north side.
Canberra should be promoting the presence of our bird life which is unique in Australia.

10
dungfungus 12:51 pm
17 Dec 15
#

rosscoact said :

BenjaminRose1991 said :

Aside from Telstra Tower needing a renovation and a concrete destaining. The ACT and Commonwealth governments need to work together and spend a truly huge amount of money on advertisements. An ad or two during prime-time on TV in Sydney and Melbourne, Television and aggressive social media adverts in the U.S, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, and Europe. Have clips of the people walking around Burley Griffin at sunset, the wineries, Tidbinbilla (inc. Tracking Station), NGA, Parliaments, Questacon, Summernats, and those dessert mugs with pretzels from Manuka etc.

Basically “Canberra’s Greatest Hits” in 60 seconds or less. Just no clips of the House of Reps please 🙂

Crikey, that will unleash the Riot Act hounds. The last time a CBR ad was done (which did just that) the usual suspects pilloried it unmercifully.

I agree though, Canberra is a wonderful place, we just need to laugh at the congenitally negative people who seem to get more air than they deserve.

I like the way you say “I agree” etc. and then self-appoint yourself to say “we need to do…..”.
It’s like the other poster that constantly says words akin to “go to your homes and await instructions”.

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