Yesterday, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, launched the Coalition’s plan for tourism with Shadow Minister for Tourism, the Hon Bob Baldwin MP – emphasising a move for the tourism portfolio to a Trade and Foreign Affairs Ministry should the Coalition win the election on 7 September. The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) welcomes this bold new alignment.
Executive Director of AACB, Andrew Hiebl stated that “This proposed move shows a real understanding of the business events industry and the benefits that international conventions and exhibitions bring to Australia such as stimulating innovation, attracting investment, increasing productivity and encouraging collaboration through knowledge exchange. Most importantly, they showcase Australia as a great place to do business on a global stage.”
Convention bureaux are the drivers of business events coming to the country with the support of industry. They play a central role in the identification of business event opportunities, prepare and submit bid proposals, and facilitate the engagement of local businesses in conventions won for their host destinations.
However, Australia’s ability to secure international business events is heavily influenced by its ability to extract the necessary assistance from Federal Government, from the bidding stage through to delivery and post-event relationship management.
“That is why we are also encouraged by the announcement that a Coalition Government would provide consular and ministerial backing for bids for key international conferences, as Federal Government support is seen as crucial by international decision makers,” Hiebl said.
Close collaboration is required to develop the strongest business case for business event bids, aligned with Government strategies, and maximise the Nation’s advantages relative to competitors including Asia. Partnering with Government from a business events perspective also creates an environment where trade and investment opportunities are leveraged to best effect.