News

Business events’ X factor

A new initiative focussing on attracting more international business events to the country has been launched by Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb and welcomed by leaders in the sector.

Robb said the ‘Attracting Business Events to Australia’ initiative will “further enhance” the tourism landscape, which aims to secure opportunities both at home and abroad.

“Business events in Australia have a global reputation for being first-class, stellar events; they’re extremely important in terms of promoting Australia to the world,” Robb said.

“They showcase Australia’s business capabilities, foster trade and investment outcomes, facilitate stronger people-to-people links and make a significant contribution to our economy.”

Tourism contributes more than $13 billion a year to Australia’s economy and the new initiative is expected to make a “significant” contribution to the Government’s Tourism 2020 goal, upping overnight expenditure to between $115 and $140 billion, according to Robb.

‘Attracting Business Events to Australia’ will set out the framework for the Australian Government – through Austrade and Tourism Australia – to work with industry during both the bidding and event-delivery process.

Austrade is expected to coordinate ministerial support for an event and will organise onshore and offshore promotion, while Tourism Australia will partner with industry to provide marketing and promotional materials.

“This new framework demonstrates the common sense approach this Government has taken to the tourism portfolio, by moving it under the trade umbrella; allowing closer alignment between the work done by Austrade – our export promotion agency – and Tourism Australia,” Robb said.

“The high-yield economic benefits of hosting business events – not just for the tourism sector but for the wider community – are key contributors to the Government’s economic diplomacy agenda, and are highly effective vehicles for driving industry growth, which is in keeping with the Government’s trade and investment priority areas.”

Citing a recent Deloitte Access Economics report on the events sector, which highlighted synergies between the international business events industry and the strategic imperatives of Government, the report found events to help foster a stronger, more diverse economy and to deliver further growth from Asia.  

Under the new framework, the Australian Convention Bureaux will serve as the first point of contact for event organisers and the broader events industry wanting Austrade and Tourism Australia support.

President of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux, Lyn Lewis-Smith, welcomed the collaborative approach, saying that it was vital all agencies and governments work together to attract key business events.

"The benefits to the Australian economy of winning and hosting international business events are felt long after the last delegate leaves the country," Lewis-Smith said.

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