Govt renews focus on winning international business events

02 December, 2014

A new initiative aimed at attracting more international business events to Australian shores was launched recently by Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb.

The 'Attracting Business Events to Australia' will offer a 'whole of Government' approach to winning major conferences and exhibitions for Australia.

Bidding and event delivery

Following the success of the recent China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, the initiative will see the federal government – through Austrade and Tourism Australia – work with industry during the bidding and event delivery process.

Under the new framework, Austrade will 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.  

"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.

"This new framework demonstrates the common sense approach … taken to the tourism portfolio … moving it under the trade umbrella; allowing closer alignment between the work done by Austrade – our export promotion agency – and Tourism Australia.

"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."

The tourism sector is already worth more than $13 billion a year. Robb said this new initiative will make a significant contribution to the Tourism 2020 goal of increasing overnight visitor expenditure to between $115 billion and $140 billion by the year 2020.

Value of business events

CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia, Carol Giuseppi, said the initiative indicated the government understood the value of business events and was prepared to work with industry to maximise their potential.

"Business events can inject many millions of dollars into the economy, which is why it has become a fiercely competitive market, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region," she said.

"Greater co-operation and co-ordination by government can significantly enhance the business events sector's ability to win major bids for Australian cities."