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Tourism, can we stop pissing the money against the wall?

By johnboy - 18 May 2007 12

As part of our online web monitoring for mentions of Canberra the robots often throw up entries from travel blogs. And they often look like this:

“The final thought on Canberra is very much the same as Brisbane. It is perceived by travellers as a crap place to visit but a nice place to live and that is it. I preferred Brisbane personally but we were also there for longer. Canberra from the point of a resident is a great place to be but for the tourist, save time, money and sanity and miss it unless you know people there in which case it is a must. Good fun to hang out more than look around the place.

And that’s it! Our mountains are not so high, our rivers are trickles between ponds, the average tourist expects to be able to walk between major locations in even the biggest city and that’s just not on here. The coast is not that close, and neither is the snow. Leaves falling of trees in Autumn is a novelty to Australians and no-one else who can’t see it better somewhere else that’s more interesting.

Canberra is a great place to live (if the rain keeps up), it is of some interest to other Australians. But spending money luring foreign visitors here is just going to upset them and give us negative word or mouth.

So, for all time, let their be an end to wasting public money promoting Canberra as an international tourist destination!

The same author also had these words for the YHA:

“This place is an absolute drag in near enough every way. The hostel is clean, but the staff are pretty dull, the facilities are expensive and pretty poor and the customers are either ridiculously boring, or have better conversations eith themselves than anyone else. To top it all off you have to pay for luggage storage, not great for an expensive place.”

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
Tourism, can we stop pissing the money against the wall?
Spitfire3 10:31 am 21 May 07

Is that a poem?

gurunik 10:32 pm 18 May 07

its starting to get cold now.
cairns is looking good.
canberra is a pretty town.
but the people are frigid.

jube 6:04 pm 18 May 07

Owning a chauffered hire car, being an ex-cabbie and having driven backpackers around our great brown land for 4 years as well I can back GnT up as well – tourists are more often than not surprised at what they find in Canberra – the reputation preceeding it is not fair.

Tuktuks have been tried in Canberra on at least 3 different occasions in the last 10 years, and all have gone broke within a very short time.

And neanderthalis, if I wasn’t married now I would move back to Cairns in a second!

johnboy 3:09 pm 18 May 07

I thought the war memorial was number 1?

Either way the sort of visitors who take an interest in another nation’s parliament (let alone their own) and stop for chats with the tour guide can best be described as a minutely limited subset of the market.

justbands 3:03 pm 18 May 07

Yes, although it’s not only the IT workers. There’s plenty of people piling into Canberra during the week for Government business.

GnT 3:03 pm 18 May 07

Having worked for a couple of years at Canberra’s number 1 tourist attraction (Parliament House) I had lots of conversations with international visitors. Most of them said things like: “My guidebook said to allow a day in Canberra, but I wish I’d booked a week”, “My friend told me to give Canberra a miss, but I’m very glad I came”, or “I’m pleasantly surprised by how much there is to see and do here”.

So, there is definitely a market for international tourism here and I think we should continue to promote Canberra as a destination.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 2:56 pm 18 May 07

It’s fairly obvious why prices are more expensive during the week, and it has nothing to do with tourism. The fed govt is currently running so many large IT projects that all the large service providers with local offices are pulling resources in from interstate on a more or less permanent basis. They don’t care about prices because it gets charged back anyway.

neanderthalsis 1:08 pm 18 May 07

At the end of the day, Canberra is not really a backpackers mecca. I can’t really imagine the town overrun with semi-naked, sunburnt young backpackers seeking cheap alcohol and a free bed (one great advantage of living in Cairns)

Danman 12:51 pm 18 May 07

And I would happily drive a tuk tuk (pedal powered)

I would have the benifit of weight lost and money gained – and a great day outdoors.

Absent Diane 12:46 pm 18 May 07

I think canberra would be much more appealing to tourists if we had tuktuks to drive people between places (at least in summer)… was watching a travel show on NZ and they have them in auckland – which suprised and delighted me… it would mean no waiting for sht busses or overpriced cabbies.

stan_bowles 12:28 pm 18 May 07

“To top it all off you have to pay for luggage storage, not great for an expensive place”

I think thats pretty standard, I had to pay something at most hostels around Europe.

bonfire 11:59 am 18 May 07

i had a look at that persons whoel entry johnboy.

they are simply dull.

they arrived at night, the next day he did his washing and then they went to a shopping centre.

he/she/it sounds like a typical stingy backpacker.

shopping centres in lithuania are almost identical to places liek belco mall. seen one, seen them all.

however, i do agree that international tourism marketing is a waste of money – but i think domestic tourists woudl find a lot to do here. at least a weekends worth.

and if there were more special event such as the gmc 400, a drgway, a midyear summernats etc – then canberra could market itself in a different way.

yesterday a friend told me that canberra is the only capital city where weekend rates are cheaper than weekday rates.

that coudl be a marketing edge – see canberra over the weekend and do it cheaper than if you came during the week.

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