Oz industry on track, but further investment critical: report

Oz industry on track, but further investment critical: report
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Australia’s business events industry is on track to achieving the industry’s 2020 targets, but losing its stronghold over international association events, a new report has confirmed.

The 2011 State of the Business Events Industry Report, released last week, found that the Australian business events industry gained momentum in 2011, with business events spend increasing 19% on 2010 levels, to $10 billion.

The gains were driven by a 19% increase in overnight spend and 15% rise in international business event expenditure. Overall international business event visitors also increased 8% over the same period, while overnight domestic visitors rose 16% to a record 9.4 million.

However, the report, commissioned by the Business Events Council of Australia, also noted that a 28% decrease in state government funding of convention bureaus led to a 5% decline in bids and 12% slump in successful bids on 2010 levels.

The number of international association meetings held in Australia also dipped in 2011, causing Australia’s ranking for international association events to slip from 16th position to 11th.

Report author, Tourism and Business Events International director, Dr Marg Deery, said the findings confirm Australia’s business events industry has recovered from the financial crisis, with expenditure and visitation returning to pre-GFC levels.

The figures also show Australia’s business events industry is on track to achieving its 2020 targets of attracting $16 billion from overnight business events delegates, Dreery added.

However, she noted that more efforts were needed to re-position Australia as a leading destination for international association events.

“Australia has slipped from 11th position to 16th position [for international association events], highlighting the need to improve Australia’s share of this important sector of the international business event market,” she said.

Deery also stressed that continued investment in infrastructure was needed to maintain interest from the China market, and concluded that producing quality product with competitive return on investment would remain the biggest challenge.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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