The business events industry is set to smash its target of doubling overnight expenditure by 2020, but international competition will continue to push the limits of Australian event bureaus, according to Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy.
Speaking to The Nibbler yesterday, McEvoy congratulated the business events industry on its achievements, noting that overall visitor spend increased by 8% last year alone.
Up from $8.5 billion in 2011, business events now contributes $12.5 billion to the overall visitor economy, with McEvoy confident it will trump the target of $16 billion by 2020.
“The business events industry is well ahead of target and we expect it to more than reach its goal by 2020. The industry is doing well after some tough years during the global financial crisis,” he said.
As the business events industry continues to expand across the globe, McEvoy singled out competition as the biggest challenge for the industry going forward.
“Back in the 80s and 90s there were less of us doing this work, and now there are hundreds of destinations and bureaus trying to get the same customers,” he said. “It always will be the biggest challenge.”
McEvoy also pointed to impressive budgets from overseas competitors as an ongoing challenge for the Australian business events sector, but stressed that the strong economy would not stifle growth in the market.
“More and more destinations are putting money on the table which some of our capital cities and bureaus struggle to match. Australia stacks up in many ways but can’t afford to pay when it gets to that point of view,” he said.
“However, the strong Australian dollar is overplayed. Our numbers are growing despite the dollar. If anything, it just demonstrates you’ve got to show great value, and our products and experiences have done that.”
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