6 November 2017
The ACT’s tourism industry, which now employs over 16,000 Canberrans, is continuing to grow with support from ACT Government investments.
Lonely Planet’s announcement that Canberra is one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2018 demonstrates the international recognition that our city is now receiving and is a sign of further growth throughout the next year.
The 2016-17 ACT Annual Report for Enterprise Canberra details how the government’s investment in initiatives like the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre, our co-marketing agreement with Singapore Airlines and the Government’s support for exhibitions, shows and major sporting events is contributing to record levels of visitors both national and internationally.
The arrival of Singapore Airlines to Canberra operating direct international flights was a significant achievement for the Government, having supported the bid for the service over a number of years. The commencement of the flights has significantly increased visitation from Singapore (73.5 per cent increase for the year ending December 2016) and has provided international growth opportunities for Canberra businesses.
Qatar Airways will join Singapore Airlines in February 2018, which should see further increases in visitation from international markets.
The ACT Government has also helped facilitate the arrival of low-cost domestic airlines through co-operative marketing initiatives. Low cost carrier TigerAir has begun operating flights between Canberra and Melbourne and Canberra and Brisbane.
In the next 12 months, the Government will look to build on this success. We have already entered into a strategic partnership with the National Gallery of Australia to support the Cartier exhibition and we will continue to pursue opportunities for partnerships with other national institutions. Construction is set to commence shortly on the new media facility at Manuka Oval in time for Canberra’s first ever international test match, and the Government is also working on improvements to our major events such as Floriade and Enlighten.
This month, I will be meeting with Air New Zealand as part of Canberra Week celebrations in Wellington to discuss opportunities for direct flights between Canberra and Auckland, which would allow for improved access for Canberrans to North America.
Visitors to Canberra contributed $1.9 billion to the ACT’s economy in 2016-17, and the ACT Government will continue to support the industry as we work towards our goal of growing the visitor contribution to $2.5 billion by 2020.