22 May 2019

AACB Congratulates the Coalition Government

CANBERRA: The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) congratulates the Liberal National Coalition on its recent election win and forming a majority government in Australia.

Over the past year, the AACB has worked closely with the Coalition Government in drafting a Beyond Tourism 2020 strategy through participation in the industry led steering committee. We look forward to working with the Morrison Government in formalising the strategy to 2030 as an immediate priority, ensuring a strong focus on the business events industry continues.

Business events delegates are the highest yielding visitor to Australia and a significant contributor to successfully achieving the Tourism 2020 targets. The business events industry also offers government a platform to achieve its strategic priorities.

AACB President, Michael Matthews said, “Maintaining and enhancing Australia’s position as a smart country that drives innovation and the industries of tomorrow requires increasing focus and effort of government, yet can be strongly supported by the business events industry.”

The business events industry is a powerful demonstrated facilitator of:

  • Job generation across Australia, sustaining over 193,000 jobs each year
  • International trade and investment opportunities
  • Soft diplomacy
  • Knowledge sharing, research collaboration, innovation and global talent attraction.

In the week leading up to the election, the International Congress & Convention Association released its Country & City Rankings confirming that Australia has moved up one place to 13th position with a total of 265 international association meetings held in 2018. 

“While we operate in a highly competitive industry with strong regional competition in Asia Pacific, we should set our sights on a global top 10 ranking, a position not held since 2006. Addressing the business events industry’s priorities would improve Australia’s competitiveness and drive growth,” said Matthews.

Key priorities of the business events industry include:

  • Significant funding increase for Tourism Australia destination marketing to drive demand.
  • Expand the Bid Fund Program with additional new investment to $10 million per year.
  • Visa reform – reduce the cost and complexity of visitor visas.
  • Invest in more robust business events and visitor metrics.



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