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THE As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralian Con­ven­tion Bu­reaux (AACB) has out­lined a se­ries of tar­geted pub­lic pol­icy mea­sures that should be im­ple­mented to help grow the Aus­tralian econ­omy.

“Given one in five dol­lars spent by in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors in Aus­tralia is spent by an in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tor at­tend­ing a busi­ness event, our sec­tor rep­re­sents a tremen­dous growth op­por­tu­nity – for tourism and for the econ­omy more broadly, as it tran­si­tions away from the re­sources boom,” re­marked AACB chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drew Hiebl.

“The lat­est in­dus­try anal­y­sis of bids by Aus­tralian ci­ties to host in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tions, ex­hi­bi­tions, in­cen­tives and meet­ings showed con­ven­tion bu­reaux have se­cured 360 in­ter­na­tional busi­ness events across the for­ward cal­en­dar,” Heibl said.

Some of the rec­om­men­da­tions high­lighted in the 2017-18 Pre-Bud­get in­clude calls for the Gov­ern­ment to in­vest in a na­tional con­ven­tion bid fund of up to $10 mil­lion per year; al­low feefree ac­cess to the on­line Elec­tronic Travel Au­thor­ity visa scheme for del­e­gates at­tend­ing ma­jor busi­ness events; and con­trib­ute $10 mil­lion to ef­fec­tively pro­mote Aus­tralia as a knowl­edge econ­omy.

“The busi­ness events in­dus­try is cer­tain that if these pol­icy pro­pos­als were to be adopted and im­ple­mented, there would be a high rate of re­turn on this in­vest­ment,” added Heibl.

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