A new $1.5 million program has been launched to help the domestic business events sector get back on its feet in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and drive new business to regions around Australia.
Tourism Australia’s Business Events Boost Program will provide convention bureaux, convention centres, professional conference organisers, and event managers with the opportunity to leverage the agency’s expertise and help win new domestic business.
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said getting the domestic business events industry up and running as quickly as possible would be critical to the industry’s recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.
“Business events are one of the most crucial sectors of our tourism industry, delivering huge economic benefits to communities around Australia,” Birmingham said.
“The sector has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, with the widespread cancellations of many domestic business events and a significant number of international events postponed.
“With restrictions now starting to lift and interstate travel starting to re-commence, this program will help venues and destinations to better market themselves in what is a highly competitive industry and secure lucrative corporate meetings, annual conferences, exhibitions, and incentive events.
“Business events have major flow-on effects by helping to fill hotels, bars and restaurants, and will provide a much-needed boost to businesses and local economies as they rebuild from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.”
The Business Events Boost Program aims to provide the local MICE industry with the skills and resources it needs to drive new business for Australia through a range of marketing and distribution initiatives.
Penny Lion, executive general manager of events at Tourism Australia, said the program represents a shift in focus towards the domestic business events space, and also forms part of a broader recovery strategy being delivered by Business Events Australia.
“With international travel restrictions likely to be in place for some time yet, the recovery of Australia’s business events industry will be driven by domestic activity as soon as it is safe and practical to do so,” she said.
“We are very pleased to be launching the Business Events Boost Program as part of our overall strategy to help the Australian business events industry recover from the impacts of COVID-19, and are looking forward to partnering with them to deliver initiatives to help kickstart domestic business events.
“The program is a domestic iteration of our already successful and internationally-focused Advance Program, and will provide the industry an opportunity to access funding for innovative marketing and distribution initiatives.”
The new Business Events Boost Program will be run by Tourism Australia’s dedicated business events unit, Business Events Australia, throughout the next financial year. Applications will open on 1 July 2020 and close on 30 September 2020.
For more information, including details on eligibility criteria, can be found here.