2016 AUSTRALIAN TOURISM EXCHANGE RUN-DOWN
MORE than 2,300 travel industry delegates descended on the Gold Coast in May for the annual Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), the country’s largest business-to-business tourism event. The event, which ran from the 16-19 of May, connected more than 840 travel wholesalers and buyers from Asia, the Americas, Continental Europe and the UK with 1,500 Australian tourism seller delegates from 532 companies. It was the first time in the event’s 37-year long history that it was hosted on the Gold Coast, with Tourism Australia managing director John O’sullivan describing it as a boon for the Australian inbound tourism sector. “Given it's the first time that ATE has been held on the Gold Coast there is a high level of excitement around the event, with the number of Australian travel businesses participating reaching its highest level in eight years as well as 98 new buyers from nine markets attending for the first time,” commented O'sullivan. On the Monday, delegates attending the official ATE welcome event hosted at the Gold Coast Turf Club, were greeted by Australian Tourism Celebrity Advocate Chris Hemsworth, who surprisingly stepped up on stage following the playing of the iconic Tourism Australia clip in which he features. Hemsworth, who grew up in Melbourne, shared candidly with the audience his favourite Aussie hot-spots and his love for surfing, whilst excited attendees vied for just the right moment to snap a quick selfie with the god of thunder. On the closing day of the event, ATE organisers announced Sydney will be next in line to play host to the annual tourism trade show. NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said ATE 2017 will “provide the perfect opportunity to showcase the newly constructed International Convention Centre (ICC)”. “This five-day event will generate significant economic benefits to the state while highlighting our iconic attractions, beautiful beaches, outstanding food and wine scene and provide delegates from overseas and across Australia with the chance to explore Sydney and the breathtaking surrounding regions of NSW. “We look forward to showcasing our incredible state during ATE 2017, set to provide delegates with a forum for Australian tourism businesses to display their products, make overseas contacts and negotiate deals.” The 2017 Australian Tourism Exchange was be held from 14-18 May.