One of the world’s best cities to visit, set to become even better

Posted 5 Mar 2018

Story by CBR Canberra

From the use of facial recognition technology to the development of more authentic experiences, these were just some of the ideas that were discussed at the recent Destination Canberra conference on 15 and 16 February at QT Canberra.

2017 was a huge tourism year for Canberra. The nations’ capital saw a record-breaking 4.98 million visitors to the ACT contributing $2.06 Billion to the Canberra economy, and was named as the world’s third best city to visit in Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel 2018’.

To kick start the new year and build momentum on the successes of 2017, VisitCanberra hosted the Destination Canberra conference. Over two days, more than 200 delegates from the region’s tourism industry, federal and local government, media and consultancy agencies and 14 high-profile speakers focused on topics relevant to broadening the appeal of Canberra and the surrounding region.

‘Customer-centricity’ was the theme with speakers from organisations such as Lonely Planet, Tourism Australia, General Motors Holden and Expedia delivering key insights on ways to better understand customers and their needs in order to deliver more relevant, engaging and authentic experiences, products and services.

Key take outs included:

  • The importance of visitor segmentation. Keynote speaker Bernard Salt analysed 2016 census data to demonstrate how we can use this data to better define target visitor markets.
  • Key insights from the ongoing VisitCanberra visitor segmentation project.
  • The impact of new technology on the customer journey—from facial recognition to virtual reality experiences.
  • Increased opportunities to cater for the accessible tourism market over the next 20 years as the baby boomers enter retirement and seek engaging visitor experiences.
  • The emergence of the Chinese market and the impact this is having on international visitation numbers and expenditure. China is already the leading international market in terms of visitation numbers and expenditure in ACT and it is likely that this trend will continue to follow the national trends. Those businesses that are ‘China Ready’ and offer payment options for the Chinese visitor will have a competitive advantage into the future.
  • The use of mobile technology through every stage of the visitor journey.
  • Ways to leverage the massive commercial awareness provided by the Lonely Planet Best of Cities accolade over the next 12 months.

The second day of the conference consisted of plenary sessions designed to give delegates practical take home training that they could implement into their business operations.

Overall the conference was a highly informative and inspiring session that armed delegates with the information, tools and insights they need to keep Canberra and the surrounding region in the top best places to visit in the world.

For further information or details of presentations, please visit

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