Tourism Australia today confirmed that the business events sector remains a high strategic priority and is well on track to achieving its Tourism 2020 target of reaching $16 billion annually in expenditure by the end of the decade.
This commitment is backed by new research, released today at the Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo 2014 (AIME) in Melbourne, which confirms Australia’s reputation as a leading destination for business meetings and events amongst key major decision makers overseas.
Conducted by BDA Marketing Planning for Tourism Australia, the research provides specific insights into the perception of Australia for business events and involved interviews with 550 senior corporate decision makers in 10 markets: New Zealand, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, United Kingdom, North America, Greater China and Japan.
Tourism Australia Acting Managing Director, Frances-Anne Keeler said Australia rates very highly in all 10 markets, due largely to competitive advantages such as its natural environment, high quality venues and a proven track record in hosting exceptional business events.
“Australia is investing more than ever in its business events and incentive offerings, with a robust strategy and an extended global trade and marketing program,” Ms Keeler said. “We are listening to key decision makers, and identifying opportunities to build on our already solid reputation for providing excellence.
“We are very fortunate to live in such an inspiring country, one that has made us a global leader in food and wine experiences, destination choices and event spaces. It not only inspires those of us who live here, but also everyone who visits,” Ms Keeler said.
The research confirmed that safety and security, excellent business event facilities, a range of quality accommodation, quality food, wine, and local cuisine were consistently top of the agenda for business events decision makers globally.
Other key findings include:
- Proximity and affordability are positive drivers for those markets closest to Australia (New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia).
- Australia is seen as an important place to do business by many as part of the reason for choosing it as a business events destination – especially for countries located further from Australia such as the United Kingdom, North America and China.
- Quality business event facilities in Australia are generally highly regarded, particularly amongst respondents to the survey based in India, Singapore and New Zealand.
- Australia’s quality food and wine ranked at number four when survey respondents were asked to rate their top five most important factors for selecting Australia as a business events destination.
- Rational factors such as safety and security, business event facilities and quality accommodation came in as the top three reasons.
Ms Keeler added that Tourism Australia would continue to work closely with the local business events industry to ensure the experiences delivered on-the-ground continue to exceed the high expectations of delegates.
“Australia’s strong competitive advantage in the international market for corporate meetings and incentives, despite our distance from many of the markets and the associated costs, is something we can further capitalise on by continuing to punch above our weight in the experiences and service we deliver when delegates are here,” Ms Keeler said.
“We continually hear from our customers that Australia’s ability to tailor corporate meeting and incentive programs, combined with our can-do attitude and money can’t buy experiences, make it a great business events destination – and the positive word-of-mouth this generates will no doubt convince others why they should meet and do business here.”
Business events currently contribute $13 billion annually to Australia’s visitor economy and has been identified as a critical sector for achieving the broader Tourism 2020 targets to grow overnight visitor expenditure to between $115 and $140 billion annually by 2020.