CANBERRA: The importance of business events to the Australian economy and the role they play in international diplomacy should be formally recognised in Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper, according to the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB).
In its presentation to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the AACB aligned the following recommendations with key issues outlined in the White Paper call for submission:
“Business events are a crucial part of the Australian Government’s foreign policy strategy. The business events segment of the tourism industry can help build on the Government’s economic diplomacy agenda with the assistance of these targeted policy measures,” said the CEO of the AACB, Andrew Hiebl.
“However, Australia’s share of the international association’s meetings market has declined to 2%, ranked behind 14 other countries, while the global market has increased by 5%. We need to reverse this trend.
“Australia’s future prosperity is at risk if we fail to maximise opportunities presented by the business events industry. As such, we need further government stimulation if Australia is to reach its full potential.
“Governments around the world are investing in and supporting the business events sector because such events are platforms for attracting trade, foreign investment and global talent.
“Beyond the obvious economic contribution to our tourism industry, business events play an important role in connecting global industry leaders which accelerates innovation through the exchange of information and ideas.
“Looking forward, the opportunity in the international business events market is a significant one. One that Australia is well placed to capitalise on given our world class convention centres, attractive tourism assets and proximity to fast-growing Asia.”
According to the Business Events Council of Australia, over 38 million people attended more than 429,500 business events across Australia in 2015/16, generating $30.2 billion in direct expenditure and 193,500 jobs.
Copies of the AACB’s submission to the Foreign Policy White Paper are available on request.
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