2018 Conference Program

The 2018 WA Tourism Conference includes a range of social events, key speakers, panel sessions and networking opportunities across three days. Click here to download the delegate prospectus

Monday, September 3

10.00am - 5.00pm

Workshops on Wheels Tour - Departs from Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre SOLD OUT

In this optional activity exclusive for conference delegates, learn how destinations and businesses can take a dynamic approach to building tourism community, developing partnerships and building their business through enhanced tourism distribution channels

5.30pm - 7.30pm

Welcome Cocktail Function - Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre

Includes official welcome by the Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia

Complimentary for all conference delegates.


Tuesday, September 4


Registrations and delegate networking 

Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre


Introduction by Master of Ceremonies

Di Bortoletto, Pronto PR Founding Director


Opening Address

Hon Mark McGowan MLA, Premier of Western Australia


Big data, tracking visitors and the Beyond 2020 tourism strategy

Justin Marshall, Tourism Research Australia Senior Adviser


The Power of Film for Tourism

Seph McKenna, Screenwest Chief Executive Officer

10.30amMorning tea break

Tourism Australia Update

John O'Sullivan, Tourism Australia Managing Director


How Social is Transforming Australia's Travel & Hospitality Industry

Rian Smith, Hootsuite Senior Key Accounts and Partner Manager, ANZ

For today’s travel and hospitality brands, the shift to social media creates new opportunities to innovate for improved business outcomes. Roger will walk you through these opportunities and offer ways to make the most of them.

Join Hootsuite and learn about How Social Media Is Shaping the Customer Experience for Australia’s Travel and Hospitality Brands. You’ll learn:

  • Strategies and best practices for travel and hospitality brands to drive business results on social
  • Research findings and industry insights on how social is driving and transforming the customer journey
  • Regional case studies on brands and industry experts who are leading the pack on social

How to Use Instagram like a PRO

Lauren Bath, Digital Influencer


Keynote Speaker - Matt Hale, Mindhacking Happiness

International “mind hacks” expert speaker and entertainer Matt Hale can show you how to use the way you think to get where you want, and set it on autopilot. In this session, Matt will share techniques you can implement to feel fantastic, form great habits, break bad ones and improve your life.


Tourism WA Update

Nathan Harding, Tourism WA Chairman

3.10pmAfternoon tea break

Developing Aviation Capacity - New Routes & Regional Dispersal

Facilitated by Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall

Kevin Brown, Perth Airport Chief Executive Officer

Michael McConachy, Kimberley Marketing Group Chair

Jared Simcox, Scoot General Manager - Australia

Claire Werkmeister, Tourism WA Director Aviation Development & Policy

5.00pmClosing Comments and Day One Concludes

Optional additional touring activities are available for delegates on Tuesday evening, click here for more information.


Wednesday, September 5

Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre

An opening plenary session is followed by three streams, where delegates can choose the sessions most suited to their business. 

9.00amOpening Plenary: A Conversation with Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Shadow Federal Tourism Minister
 Marketing & AccessExperiences & PlacesIndustry Sectors

Tapping into the Chinese Market

An update on the Chinese market plus strategies on marketing to the Chinese from experts and operators.

Facilitated by Tourism Council WA Senior Industry Advisor Julia Tolj

Rei Seah, Tourism WA Market Manager China, Indonesia & Emerging Markets

Nick Henderson, Asialink Business Director, China Practice

Myrianthe Riddy, Mandurah Cruises Owner

Nature-Based Tourism: Where to Next?

The future of eco-tourism in WA from both a Government and private developer perspective.

Jacinta Overman, Department of Biodiversity Conservation & Attractions Coordinator Tourism & Concessions

Kristy Bailey, One Eighty Marketing Director

Lisa Shreeve, Busselton Jetty CEO

Development and Management of a Successful Volunteer Program

The considerations Visitor Centres should make in developing a volunteer program, including procedures, recruitment and training.

Recommended for Visitor Centre delegates.

Facilitated by Matt Norton, Visitor Centres WA Chair

Tracy Barr, City of Fremantle Coordinator Service and Information

Stephanie Leca, Carnarvon Visitor Centre Manager

Larr Rose, Kings Park & Botanic Garden Volunteer Co-ordinator

10.30amMorning tea break  

Collaboration in Tourism: Case Studies

How tourism businesses can embrace partnerships to strengthen their product and brand.

Facilitated by Tourism WA Partnership Manager Kym Francesconi

Craig Kenyon, Caravan Industry Association WA CEO

Robert Taylor, WAITOC CEO

Rebecca Johnston, Gold Industry Group Executive Officer

Sebastien Lepoittevin, Print Hall General Manager

Ryan Mossny, Two Feet & a Heartbeat Director

Demand Drivers: Successful and Emerging Attractions

The stories behind new and existing interstate and local attractions and how they can attract visitors.

Facilitated by Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall

Michelle Reynolds, Rottnest Island Authority Executive Director

Luke Martin, Tourism Industry Council Tasmania CEO

Nigel Oakey, Dome Café Group Managing Director

Inexpensive Merchandising Ideas you can Adopt in Your Visitor Centre 

Focusing on the tools at your disposal to stimulate interest and increase retail sales in your Visitor Centre.

Recommended for Visitor Centre delegates.

Jurek Leon, Terrific Trading Director of Curiosity


Guy Taylor

Bitten by a Tassie tiger: how embracing differentiation boomed the State's tourism

The Partnerships Driving Aboriginal Tourism 

WAITOC and Aboriginal tourism operators share their stories of collaboration with other businesses.

Facilitated by WAITOC CEO Robert Taylor

Anne Riley, Wuddi Aboriginal Cultural Tours Owner

Dale Tilbrook, Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery Owner

Visitor Centre Success Stories 

A look at the ways Visitor Centres can increase profitability, and the challenges faced along the way.

Recommended for Visitor Centre delegates.

Facilitated by Jurek Leon, Terrific Trading Director of Curiosity

Veronica Dobner, Kalgoorlie-Boulder Visitor Centre General Manager

Rebecca Tuesley, Geraldton Visitor Centre Manager

Hamish Fell, Albany Visitor Centre Project Leader Visitor Services


Successful Events: What You Need to Know

What are the factors behind successful events for destinations? Hear what the research shows, and what event coordinators have to say.

Facilitated by Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall

Tanya Forsyth Taylor, Business Wanganhaa Senior Consultant

Claire Taylor, City of Mandurah Coordinator City Events, Community & Social Development

Richard Campbell, CMS Events Director

Sustainable Tourism: A Contemporary Update

Sustainable tourism as a term has been bandied around for many years, but what does it mean for today’s visitor and for those of us running businesses and building destinations?  Claire explores some Australian examples of good management in this talk.

Claire Ellis, Claire Ellis Consulting Director

Electric Vehicles and Self-Drive Tourism

Industry update on the self-drive tourism market, plus a look at the future of the sector as electric vehicles hit the roads.

Recommended for Caravan Park delegates.

Alex Forrest, RAC Manager Vehicles and Sustainability

Edward Kestel, Gemtek Automation Managing Director



Luke Martin, Tourism Industry Council Tasmania CEO

The rise of the Tasmanian tourism industry.

Trends in Nature-Based Tourism

Facilitated by FACET Chair Ryan Mossny

Martin Black, Margaret River Chocolate Company Co-Founder

Right Reverend Abbot John Herbert, New Norcia

Griffin Longley, WA Parks Foundation Director

State of the Industry with Caravan Industry Association WA

An update on the direction and work being undertaken by CIAWA on behalf of members and the industry.

Recommended for Caravan Park delegates.

Craig Kenyon, Caravan Industry Association WA CEO

Melissa Souter-Robertson, Caravan Industry Association WA Marketing Manager

3.00pm  Day Two Concludes

6.00pm  Pre-Dinner Drinks and Networking Commence - Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre

7.00pm  Conference Dinner

Featuring dinner entertainment from magician Pierre Ulric and music from Kelly Read.

Includes presentation of the GWN7 Top Tourism Town Awards and 2018 Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards Individual Excellence Awards. Dinner MC is GWN7 news presenter Noel Brunning.


To register for the 2018 WA Tourism Conference, click here.

Program and speakers subject to change.