Business events industry losing $2.5bn per month due to COVID-19: BECA

The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) has flagged the need for immediate support due to extraordinary losses being accrued across the industry.

As the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) and limitations on social gatherings and the closures of international and domestic borders continues to unfold, the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) has revealed the huge economic impact these factors are having on its members.

“Business events are the highest yielding component of the visitor economy,” the council said in a statement.

“Switching it off takes $2.5 billion from the economy every month. To give context, this is equivalent to the value of the entire cruise industry every two months.

“The business events sector brings in more than $30 billion to the Australian economy, employs more than 193,000 and runs over 430,000 events every year.

“The sector is a major contributor to the nation, not only financially, but for its powerful enabling ability.

“Across many disciplines and sectors, business events act as knowledge translators, a bridge between research and ideas and to deliver real-world, practical business outcomes,” it said.

According to BECA, the situation has become so dire that, as of this week, the industry’s revenue is zero.

“The business events sector is reliant on the tourism supply chain including venues, accommodation, transport, event organiser, exhibition, catering, audio-visual, decorator, and entertainment businesses and more – most of which are small and medium enterprises,” BECA chair Dr Vanessa Findlay said.

“We know that these businesses are at immediate risk of closing their doors. Some already have, and most have had to let go casual staff and are processing redundancies for the majority of their full and part-time staff now.

“It is dire situation for the sector, for the nation, for the world.”

BECA sad that it is working closely with the federal government, including Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham and his office, as well as the Treasury Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit, to design and implement a support package.