Australia’s multi-billion dollar business events industry has received a huge boost with the creation of a national bid fund, making $12 million available over the next three years to support bids for new, high-value international incentive, association, and exhibition events.
Tourism Australia already supports the Australian business events industry through its marketing communications and distribution development activities, including the Advance Program which supports delegate acquisition activities for existing international business events taking place in Australia.
From 1 July 2018, Tourism Australia will extend its existing support of the Australian business events industry through the Business Events Bid Fund Program (BFP), which provides assistance to secure new international business events for Australia.
The establishment of the new Tourism Australia Business Events Bid Fund Program was announced by the Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon. Steven Ciobo MP during a keynote address at this year’s Destination Australia Conference in Melbourne.
“The Turnbull Coalition Government is focused on growing the lucrative business events sector,” Minister Ciobo said
“Business events travellers are high yielding, spending on average twice as much as a leisure visitor, often extending their visit to regional parts of Australia and returning for a holiday in the future; making them crucial to the broader Australian economy.”
“In the increasingly competitive global world of business events, we recognise that more needs to be done to ensure that Australia maintains a competitive edge against other international destinations.
“Australia’s natural beauty, safety and stability and friendliness provides the perfect base to build a thriving business events sector.
“I am confident that this new bid fund will help ensure Australia remains top of the pack in terms of consideration for international incentive and association events,” Minister Ciobo said.
John O’Sullivan, Managing Director Tourism Australia said that being able to offer financial incentives to help convert bids of national significance into confirmed business would allow Australia to compete more aggressively with the many destinations that already operated national bid funds.
“More and more destinations across the world are operating national bid funds. Australia risks losing market share to our competitors if our business events industry is not able to compete on a level playing field. That’s why the new Tourism Australia Business Events Bid Fund Program is a game-changer, allowing us to grow our competitive advantage in this critical and lucrative segment of the visitor economy,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
Managed by Tourism Australia’s business events unit, Business Events Australia, the program is designed to increase conversion of business for Australia by offering financial support at the critical bidding stage of new international business events. Funds will only be provided for qualified international business events once the event is confirmed and contracted for Australia.
Penny Lion, Executive General Manager Events Tourism Australia said, “The Tourism Australia Business Events Bid Fund provides yet another reason for international business events decision makers to choose Australia. It will deliver increased consideration for our country and provide new opportunities for our industry.”
The new bid fund will support expenditure on goods and services that assist in the delivery of events, for example accommodation or venue hire costs.
A prospectus for the new bid program is available online here and outlines the mandatory eligibility criteria required to make a submission as well as a checklist and full terms and conditions.
Applications for the new Tourism Australia Business Events Bid Fund can be submitted via from 1 May 2018, with access to the funds for successful applications available from 1 July 2018.