Travel Bulletin - - BUSINESS EVENTS NEWS -

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.

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