Business events on improve
BUSINESS events operators from across the region are forecasting an improved year after attending the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo last month.
The two-day show opened doors for business events operators from across the Douglas region to meet key conference and incentive decision-makers from the Asia Pacific to showcase the services and facilities the region offers.
Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas, Hannaford’s Flames of the Forest, Silky Oaks Lodge, Rydges Hotels and Resorts North Queensland, Quicksilver Connections and Thala Beach Lodge all attended the expo.
Hannaford’s Flames of the Forest sales manager Natalie Johnson said many local business events operators took the opportunity to remind buyers our region was not affected by Cyclone Yasi and the floods throughout Queensland.
“We were very busy throughout the two days with up to 40 appointments where we got to meet with decisionmakers and talk face to face,” she said. “People are still very interested in Port Douglas as a destination and we were determined to let people know we were ’open for business’ and show that we were not affected by the natural disaster as people do tend to look at the Far North as one destination.”
According to Ms Johnson, many national corporate companies expressed interest in Port Douglas and two domestic clients are currently looking to relocate their conferences to the region to support Australia.
“Corporate companies want to be seen supporting Australians and supporting their own country,” Ms Johnson said.
“It is great to see Australian companies wanting to stay on shore to support local communities when the Australian dollar is so high and we are competing with other destinations such as Fiji, Thailand and even as far as Hawaii. We already have 13 groups with over 100 people each travelling to Port Douglas this year.”
Ms Johnson said it has become difficult forecast how well the region will do this year compared to previous years as buyers have changed their trend of making bookings.
“Ten years ago it was really easy to determine what your business was going to because buyers were booking 12 months to two years in advance, but now bookings can be made as early as six weeks,” she said.
“So every week we are working on attracting businesses to the destination which is a great part of attending these trade shows because we are collectively selling the destination.
“The people who attend the events in our region spend money in town, buy souvenirs and Business Events Australia has been able to determine that a high majority of leisure clients will return to the destination as a direct result of a business event being held here.
local events operators such as Flames of the Forest are optimistic about the next 12 months