A “significant’ funding injection into Business Events Australia this year will see the marketing body roll out an innovation strategy to grow global awareness of Australia as a business events destination.
The additional investment comes on the back of a three year period which has seen Tourism Australia increase funding to its business events arm by 32% in recognition of the importance of the high yield sector, BEA head Penny Lion told The Nibbler.
“That’s a significant investment,” she said. “But we’re very aware that it’s a very competitive industry worldwide. Countries that were never playing in the space are now playing in the space. We’re all starting to sound very similar, targeting the same markets, attending the same trade shows – it’s a very saturated market.”
Although the amount of the boost has yet to be finalised, the sum will be used to fund additional research that will build on the findings on the recently unveiled Tourism Australia study.
“Where we feel there’s a missing piece is that there’s a lack of knowledge with the corporate decision maker about what they can do here,” Lion explained.
“We want to know why an agent does or does not decide to pitch Australia in the mix. We’ve got a fair idea from anecdotal feedback but we feel that the industry is changing so quickly that doing a significant piece of research will really give us strong supporting evidence.”
Global perceptions of Australia as a high cost and far away destinations are likely to figure in the findings, she predicted.
The research is expected to be finalised in the next six weeks, with a period of stakeholder engagement on its findings to follow before the subsequent strategy is put into place.
“We’ll be asking what’s the right thing for Australia to deliver more business into this country – that’s the focus of our activity over the coming year,” Lion said.