This event rounded out the three-part CEDA Shaping WA series which Churchill Consulting had been proudly sponsoring over the past 12 months. The series also explored the integral Agribusiness and Aged Care sectors, as well as Tourism.
Looking out from the Riverview Room of Optus Stadium and onto the recently transformed Perth skyline, attendees were given the hard truth regarding WA’s declining international tourism market (compared to our East Coast cousins) and how we currently rely on a steady influx of interstate visitors to feed our local tourism industry. The lunch’s keynote presentations and panel discussions brought together a variety of critical perspectives on challenges facing this sector, where the greatest opportunities lie for WA and how we should harness technology and educate the world on oldest surviving culture on earth to improve the prospects and outlook for WA tourism.
The program commenced with Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, John O’Sullivan outlining the significance of this industry to Australia’s economy, with the main focus on WA’s place as the western gateway to Australia. Rebecca Brown, Tourism WA’s CEO (and concurrently the Director General of the amalgamated Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation), then took the stage, spending her time reflecting on the positive industry foundations for tourism growth. She reflected on the recent and upcoming entertainment precincts and transport infrastructure developments, Perth’s accommodation investment and the recent win for Perth hosting the Australian Tourism Exchange conference.
Churchill Director, Todd Mairs then had the privilege to facilitate the panel discussion and audience Q&A, where the audience heard from Robert Taylor, WAITOC CEO and Bryan Carr from OpenDNA into the discussion. They provided background into and their organisation’s vision for promoting a new wave of cultural and technological tourism opportunities for WA businesses, especially on an international stage. The audience also raised various concerns they have as tourism operators which ranged from airport infrastructure prospects to open up the South-West Wine Region and questions the Department’s thoughts on how to combat hospitality and tourism staffing issues.
Thank you again to CEDA for the opportunity to collaborate on the shaping WA Series and we look forward to growing our partnership further in the FY20. For further details on CEDA membership, research and events go to their website.