A fed­eral busi­ness events bid fund

Travel Bulletin - - TECHNOLOGY -

Many will re­mem­ber the re­sult of the fed­eral elec­tion in 2010 – the first hung par­lia­ment since 1940. The Aus­tralian La­bor Party formed a mi­nor­ity govern­ment with the sup­port of three in­de­pen­dent MPS and one Aus­tralian Greens MP. What many won’t know is that with this elec­tion re­sult went Aus­tralia’s op­por­tu­nity to in­tro­duce a na­tional busi­ness events bid fund. In op­po­si­tion, the Coali­tion tourism pol­icy in 2010 in­cluded a Busi­ness Events Bid and Boost Fund for key in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ences of $17.5m over four years. It is now time to bring this pol­icy back to life. Aus­tralia’s con­ven­tion bu­reaux do well in at­tract­ing in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tions de­spite our dis­tance from the ma­jor mar­kets of Europe and North Amer­ica. In 2014, Aus­tralia hosted 260 in­ter­na­tional meet­ings, rank­ing it 13th in the world. How­ever, Aus­tralia’s mar­ket share is de­clin­ing in the face of both im­proved con­ven­tion fa­cil­i­ties and more ag­gres­sive bid­ding else­where in the world. The dif­fer­ence is the emer­gence and growth of govern­ment bid funds across the last decade. Once shrouded in se­crecy, bid funds are now in­creas­ingly com­mon­place. As large con­ven­tions are ex­tremely costly to stage, in­ter­na­tional as­so­ci­a­tions are look­ing more and more to sup­port from gov­ern­ments of po­ten­tial host des­ti­na­tions. De­spite some state/ter­ri­tory fund­ing avail­able, Aus­tralian con­ven­tion bu­reaux are in­creas­ingly los­ing in­ter­na­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties to com­peti­tors with hefty govern­ment cheque books avail­able, used to se­cure this highly com­pet­i­tive busi­ness. In to­tal over 50 des­ti­na­tions have of­fi­cial bid funds in­clud­ing Abu Dhabi, Sin­ga­pore, Malaysia, Ky­oto and Seoul. New Zealand has al­ready iden­ti­fied this is­sue in line with the di­rect and in­di­rect ben­e­fits that host­ing in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tions bring, hav­ing made avail­able NZ$40 mil­lion over four years to at­tract th­ese lu­cra­tive events. Fur­ther, Visits­cot­land es­ti­mates that their an­nual bid fund of £2 mil­lion, matched by city coun­cils, has brought in £200 mil­lion worth of busi­ness since its in­cep­tion in 2012. In Aus­tralia, we are used to this prac­tice within ma­jor events, sports, cul­ture and the arts. Why not in­ter­na­tional busi­ness events? As an in­dus­try, we should call on

If Aus­tralia wants to be able to com­pete more ef­fec­tively with its Asi­aPa­cific ri­vals, it will need its own na­tional busi­ness fund’ events bid

both sides of pol­i­tics to com­mit to a fed­eral busi­ness events bid fund of at least $10 mil­lion per an­num to re­verse the de­cline and in­crease our mar­ket share. If Aus­tralia wants to be able to com­pete more ef­fec­tively with its Asia-pa­cific ri­vals, it will need its own na­tional busi­ness events bid fund. We should as­pire to re­turn to the top 10 of the In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion & Congress As­so­ci­a­tion rank­ings, not achieved since 2009, with an Aus­tralian city in the top 20. In do­ing so, we can also de­liver a lit­tle bit of eco­nomic pros­per­ity for Aus­tralia along the way!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.