Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb has launched a new initiative to attract more international business events to Australian shores.

Building on the success of the recent China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) in securing greater opportunities – both at home and abroad – for the local tourism sector, Mr Robb said the ‘Attracting Business Events to Australia’ initiative, will further enhance Australia’s thriving tourism market. 

“Business events in Australia have a global reputation for being first-class, stellar events; they’re extremely important in terms of promoting Australia to the world,” Mr Robb said.

“They showcase Australia’s business capabilities, foster trade and investment outcomes, facilitate stronger people-to-people links and make a significant contribution to our economy.”

‘Attracting Business Events to Australia’ sets out a framework for the Australian Government – through Austrade and Tourism Australia – to work with industry during the bidding and event-delivery process.

Under the new framework, Austrade will coordinate ministerial support for an event and will organise onshore and offshore promotion, while Tourism Australia will partner with industry to provide marketing and promotional materials.

“This new framework demonstrates the common sense approach this Government has taken to the tourism portfolio, by moving it under the trade umbrella; allowing closer alignment between the work done by Austrade – our export promotion agency – and Tourism Australia,” Mr Robb said.

“The high-yield economic benefits of hosting business events – not just for the tourism sector but for the wider community – are key contributors to the Government’s economic diplomacy agenda, and are highly effective vehicles for driving industry growth, which is in keeping with the Government’s trade and investment priority areas.”

With the tourism sector already worth more than $13 billion a year, Mr Robb said this new initiative will make a significant contribution to the Tourism 2020 goal, of increasing overnight visitor expenditure to between $115 billion and $140 billion by the year 2020.

The Deloitte Access Economics report: ‘Australia’s International Business Events Sector – 2014’ further highlights the synergies between the international business events industry and the strategic imperatives of the Government including:

  • Building a stronger, more productive and more diverse economy;
  • Delivering more growth from Asia;
  • Building a diverse, world-class 5-pillar economy; and
  • Delivering stronger and better communities.

Australian Convention Bureaux play a critical role in securing international business events for Australia. Under this new framework they will serve as the first point of contact for event organisers – and the broader business events sector – who are seeking Austrade and Tourism Australia support.

President of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux, Lyn Lewis-Smith, welcomed the collaborative approach being adopted by the Federal Government, Tourism Australia and Austrade, saying that it was vital all agencies and governments – both state and federal – work together to attract the world's leading business events.

"The benefits to the Australian economy of winning and hosting international business events are felt long after the last delegate leaves the country," Ms Lewis-Smith said.

A copy of the Deloitte Access Economics report: ‘Australia’s International Business Events Sector – 2014’ can be found here:

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