Australia’s multi-billion dollar business events industry has received a huge boost with the creation of an AU$12 million (US$9.4 million) national bid fund to support bids for new international incentive, association, and exhibition events over the next three years.
Australia’s federal minister for trade, tourism and investment, Steven Ciobo MP, announced the Business Events Bid Fund Program (BFP) today during a keynote address at the Destination Australia Conference in Melbourne.
“The Turnbull Coalition Government is focused on growing the lucrative business events sector,” Minister Ciobo said.
“Business events travellers are high yielding, spending on average twice as much as a leisure visitor, often extending their visit to regional parts of Australia and returning for a holiday in the future; making them crucial to the broader Australian economy.”
He added: “In the increasingly competitive global world of business events, we recognise that more needs to be done to ensure that Australia maintains a competitive edge against other international destinations. I am confident that this new bid fund will help ensure Australia remains top of the pack in terms of consideration for international incentive and association events.”
Tourism Australia managing director, John O’Sullivan, said the offer of financial incentives to help convert bids into confirmed business would allow Australia to compete more aggressively on the world stage.
“More and more destinations across the world are operating national bid funds. Australia risks losing market share to our competitors if our business events industry is not able to compete on a level playing field. That’s why the new Tourism Australia Business Events Bid Fund Program is a game-changer, allowing us to grow our competitive advantage in this critical and lucrative segment of the visitor economy,” O’Sullivan said.
Managed by Tourism Australia’s business events unit, Business Events Australia, the programme is designed to increase conversion of business for Australia by offering financial support at the critical bidding stage. Funds will only be provided for qualified international business events once the event is confirmed and contracted for Australia.
Tourism Australia’s executive general manager of events, Penny Lion, said: “The Tourism Australia Business Events Bid Fund provides yet another reason for international business events decision makers to choose Australia. It will deliver increased consideration for our country and provide new opportunities for our industry.”
The new bid fund will support expenditure on goods & services that assist in the delivery of events, such as accommodation or venue hire costs.
A prospectus for the new bid program is available online at www.australia.com/businessevents and outlines the mandatory eligibility criteria required to make a submission as well as a checklist and full terms and conditions.
Applications for the new Tourism Australia Business Events Bid Fund can be submitted via www.australia.com/businessevents from 01 May 2018, with access to the funds for successful applications available from 01 July 2018.