December 5, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Image credit: Visit Canberra

Australia’s capital has put out its 2030 tourism strategy with the aim of growing domestic and international visitor spending to $4 billion by 2030.

The strategy includes business events and major events, recognising the importance of both to the visitor economy.

The high-level strategy puts annual visitor spending in Canberra at $1.7 billion at June 2022, with an interim target of reaching $3.1 billion per year in 2025.

In a survey undertaken in October, seven out of 10 Canberrans thought their home did not see enough visitation, indicating strong support for an increase in travellers.

Domestic overnight visitation is expected to rebound to pre-pandemic levels in 2024, with international overnight visitation expected to be back at 2019 figures in 2026. Despite this lengthy recovery, the territory government is expecting to exceed 2019 spending by $600 million by 2025.

The strategy cites a need for an additional 1.76 million airline seats into Canberra, 776 new hotel rooms and over 4,000 more workers in the tourism and hospitality space.

The T2030: ACT Tourism Strategy 2023-2030 is underpinned by four mission statements – to develop Canberra as a global destination, to promote the destination’s strengths and celebrate its established character, to contribute to the wellbeing of the community and to develop iconic visitor experiences.

The vision document sets out 12 top priorities for increasing visitation to Canberra, including restoring aviation links, building Canberra’s international profile as a destination, expanding collaboration between visitor economy stakeholders and the wider community, supporting the development of arts and culture experiences, working with industry bodies and national governments on supply side challenges and developing, attracting and promoting a strong event calendar, comprising both major events and business events.

The strategy also indicates the government will seek investment in hero tourism experiences and support the development of Indigenous operators and Indigenous experience development.

A series of action plans will follow to support the strategy, with the first one due for release in early 2023.