2021 TRC x CRL Symposium

The Digital Future of the Tourism Industry in Western Australia

Image of blue lines connecting

The Tourism Research Cluster (TRC) and the Consumer Research Lab (CRL) invite you to its International Symposium on the topic of ‘The Digital Future of the Tourism Industry in Western Australia’.

The theme of this year’s annual Symposium has been chosen carefully to reflect the critical moment the tourism industry is faced with. Digital innovation, including digital platforms, has already disrupted the way tourism businesses operate. In times of global crisis and technological disruption, the TRC x CRL Symposium brings together key academics and industry leaders to:

  • Raise awareness on the opportunities and challenges facing the WA tourism industry regarding the digital future,
  • Foster digital readiness and strengthen the digital resilience of the sector by preparing for digital disruption,
  • Discuss strategies to prepare the industry for the digital future and to upskill the digital workforce, and
  • Promote digital leadership in tourism.

This year the TRC x CRL Symposium will be held online as well as in-person to best accommodate for the preferences of delegates during these uncertain times.

Join international keynote speaker Professor Iis Tussyadiah (Intelligent Systems in Service, University of Surrey, UK) alongside other fascinating industry and academic experts to learn more about current issues and research findings in the field of digitalisation in tourism.

Symposium details

Date: The TRC x CRL Symposium will be held on 18 February 2021. 


  • 8.10am – 8.40am | arrival and registration
  • 8.40am – 3.30pm | presentations and panel discussion
  • 3.30pm – 5.00pm | networking session


  • In-person attendance: $75
  • Online attendance: $15

Location: Curtin Bentley Campus

Please note that attendees who register for the online format will receive access details to the digital platform a few days prior to the event date.

Driving to campus: If you plan on driving to the event, parking is available for you from 8am-10pm at Car Park PA2 (A5). To do so, please download the free CelloPark app on your smart device from either App Store (iPhone) or Play Store (Android) to register and pay for parking ($4 for full-day). Click here to download the campus map.

Getting to campus: For those of you not planning to drive to campus, we have a wealth of information available on the Curtin University website, including information on cycling, public transport and campus buses. Read more.

Interactive campus map: To help you plan your trip to our campus, an interactive campus map is available online.

Program schedule

18 February 2021

08.10 – 08.40 Arrival / Registration


Welcome Address

08.40 – 08.50 Ingrid Cumming, Curtin’s Nyungar Cultural Advisor, Curtin University
08.50 – 09.00 Hon Paul Papalia, MLA, Minister for Tourism, Western Australia, tbc
09.00 – 09.10 Alyssa Kathleen Hayden, MLA, Shadow Minister for Tourism, Western Australia, tbc
09.10 – 09.15 Professor Nigel De Bussy, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Business and Law, Curtin University
09.15 – 09.20 Welcome from the Tourism Research Cluster Co-Director

Dr Michael Volgger, School of Marketing, Curtin University

09.20 – 09.30 Welcome from the Symposium Chairs

Dr Sean Lee and Dr Billy Sung, School of Marketing, Curtin University 


 Session 1 – Global, Domestic and Local Perspectives: How are digital technologies changing the tourism landscape globally?

09.30 – 9.50 The future of the Tourism WA digital strategy

Mollie Hill, Executive Director, Brand and Marketing Services Tourism WA

9.50 – 10.10 Reimagining travel and tourism with technology

Professor Iis Tussyadiah, Intelligent Systems in Service, University of Surrey, UK

10.10 – 10.30 Enabling social engagement with communities through technology in tourism

Terrance Dewar, Founder and Chairman for Australian Biome Project

10.30 – 11.00 Morning Tea


Session 2 – Industry Perspectives from Western Australia: What is happening here in WA?

11.00 – 11.20 Digitalisation in tourism 

Pip Close, Tourism Business and Product Development Specialist, Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, tbc

11.20- 11.40 Sonia Beckwith, Proprietor of Live Ningaloo
11.40 -12.00 Can digital replace the human touch in tourism? 

Lisa Shreeve, CEO, Busselton Jetty

12.00 – 12.20 The importance of understanding the marketing architecture in implementing a digital strategy

Adam Marshall, CEO, Marketforce

12.20 – 1.30 Lunch


Session 3 – Opportunities for the Digital Future (Panel discussion): What are the digital challenges of today and what opportunities are there for the future?

13.30 – 15.00 Oliver Looker, General Manager, NGIS Australia – Liveli, tbc

·       Geospatial technology expert

 Dr Crystal Abidin, Curtin University, Australia, tbc

·       Academic and researcher in influencer culture

Xavier Sala Busquets, Market Manager, Expedia

·       Online travel agent expert

Ricardo Carreira, Head of Digital, Initiative

·       Digital media buying expert

Craig Wells, Director, WellStrategic Creative

·       Photographer, videographer and virtual reality expert

15.00 – 15.15 Q & A


Concluding Speech

15.15 – 15.30 Closing speech from the Symposium Chairs

Dr Sean Lee and Dr Billy Sung, School of Marketing, Curtin University

15.30 – 17.00 Networking – wines and nibbles

Cooperative Research Centre for Tourism, Hospitality and Events

Professor Kirsten Holmes, Curtin University


*Please note that this program may be subject to change. The final program will be distributed closer to the date of the Symposium


Registrations for the 2021 TRC x CRL Symposium are now open!

About the Tourism Research Cluster

The Tourism Research Cluster (TRC) increases Curtin’s tourism research capability by providing a framework for the skills, expertise and resources of researchers to be shared, increasing opportunities for collaboration and building on the strengths of Curtin’s well-established multidisciplinary approach to tourism research.

The TRC offers members the chance to meet and network with tourism experts worldwide, share ideas and explore collaborative opportunities. Some of the TRC’s key industry partners include Tourism WA, DBCA’s Parks and Wildlife Service, WAITOC, Expedia, and RAC.

We welcome new members to join the TRC’s pool of knowledge and expertise from which to source targeted and innovative solutions. For more information, contact trc@curtin.edu.au

About the Consumer Research Lab

The Consumer Research Lab specialises in the use of consumer biometrics and digital innovation to generate unprecedented marketing insights. Specifically, it uses biometric measures such as eye-tracking, facial expression, and brainwave analyses to track consumers’ feelings, thoughts, and experiences in a second-by-second and element-by-element manner. Combined with immersive technologies, digital analytics, and behavioural tracking innovations, the CRL has collaborated with many industry partners including HBF, Lotterywest, RAC, Redbull, and SOHO Global Health (Indonesia) amongst others.