Cairns success for ATE’s regional debut: TA

Cairns success for ATE’s regional debut: TA
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The decision to hold this year’s Australian Tourism Exchange trade show in a regional area for the first time appears to have paid off, with strong initial feedback from attendees and the local community, according to Tourism Australia.

Managing director John O’Sullivan told The Nibbler that the event’s regional location has not appeared to have deterred buyers or sellers, with the event fully subscribed. It welcomed 600 travel wholesalers from 40 countries with 1,200 sellers from more than 500 Australian tourism businesses.

“It has been a different model for the event coming to a regional location,” O’Sullivan said. “But from the feedback that we’ve got initially, a regional location such as this seems to have worked.”

In addition, the “passionate” local tourism industry has welcomed the opportunity to showcase their products and attractions to visiting buyers – from operators to taxi drivers to the airport and the local media.

“The history of this town with tourism, they’re so joined at the hip, so reliant on it, so just to see them getting into it so passionately and watching these buyers and sellers being able to see some of the Cairns product directly is great,” he said.

Federal minister for trade and investment Andrew Robb said the event would immediately inject $10 million into the local economy, helping to grow Queensland’s tourism industry as a whole.

“The event will be a significant contributor to our goal to grow overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020 by developing a productive link between Queensland’s tourism businesses and the global distribution network,” he said.

The location of ATE 2015 which rotates around the states has already been decided and will be announced at the end of this year’s event.  But O’Sullivan said the tourism body is keeping a “really open mind” about the host venue going forward.

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