Australia’s MICE industry hits ground running in 2017

An aerial view of Sydney’s central business district. Pic: Shutterstock

AUSTRALIA is immensely popular for business events and its position was further cemented in January 2017 when Sydney welcomed 8,000 delegates from Amway China.

The city will also receive more than 10,000 delegates from all over Asia throughout the year.

Revenue from business events can be increased and proves valuable for the national economy by way of targeted policy measures, according to the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB).

“The latest industry analysis of bids by Australian cities to host international conventions, exhibitions, incentives and meetings showed convention bureaux have secured 360 international business events across the forward calendar,” AACB chief executive Andrew Hiebl said.

“However, over the course of the next decade, Australia has missed out on 235 bids, with the estimated lost business being AUD805 million (US$616 million) in direct delegate expenditure.”

Those losses can be attributed to attractive financial packages being offered by regional countries as well as Sydney being an expensive city in general.

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Hiebl added, “Given one in five dollars spent by international visitors in Australia is spent by an international visitor attending a business event, our sector represents a tremendous growth opportunity for tourism and for the economy more broadly.”

One recommendation from the association is to invest in a national convention fund to better pit Australia against neighboring nations in securing event or conference deals.

It was also suggested the fee to grant delegates their Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) access be waived so that visitors – particularly from China – will be more likely to view Australia as a warm, welcoming host.

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In Sydney, AUD87 million (US$66 million) was secured in the last couple of months, an impressive figure made possible by mostly Indian delegates.

“Sydney’s iconic destination appeal, along with our vast range of unique partner offerings are favorites with the Indian market. And, let’s not forget Sydney and NSW offer huge drawcards for India’s cricket-loving population,” Business Events Sydney chief executive Lyn Lewis-Smith said.