Business events are worth $24 billion to the Australian economy every year, with the sector’s contribution forecast to reach $31 billion by the end of the decade, according to peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).
Melbourne Convention Bureau is hosting Business Events Week from 17 -21 February to showcase the value of the business events sector and highlight its potential.
TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said business events are a key part of the visitor economy.
“This year Melbourne will host the largest medical conference ever held in Australia, AIDS 2014, which is expected to attract in excess of 14,000 delegates and generate an estimated $80 million for the Victorian economy,” said Mr Morrison. “That’s equivalent to more than two MCGs full of fans watching Liverpool play the Melbourne Victory.”
“Targeted investment can help the sector make an even bigger economic contribution and state governments across the country have recognised the value and potential of business events.
“Business events were worth an estimated $24 billion in 2013 and this contribution could reach $31 billion by 2020, an increase of almost 30 per cent.
“New South Wales is currently investing in the $2.5 billion Darling Harbour Live precinct, including the new Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct, while South Australia is supporting the $350 million redevelopment of the Adelaide Convention Centre.
“Ahead of the Victorian election in November, TTF is calling on both major parties to commit to expanding the Melbourne Exhibition Centre to ensure Melbourne remains a leading business events destination and enjoys the economic benefits that brings.
“International business events visitors spend 20 per cent more than the average visitor, spending money on accommodation, restaurants, entertainment, shopping and transport.
“Business events also foster business investment and the exchange of new information and ideas, build relationships and encourage innovation, as well as profiling Australian know-how to the world.
“Investing in business events is an opportunity to boost the visitor economy, profile Australia, and create jobs now and into the future.
“With more than 117,000 Victorians directly employed in tourism and 73,000 tourism businesses across the state, the visitor economy is important to every part of Victoria.”