Australia readies for the world

New head of Business Events Australia, Robin Mack, anticipates 2022 will be a big year.

Robin Mack pointed to research showing "high intention to travel to Australia" from key international markets for 2022 and beyond.
Robin Mack pointed to research showing "high intention to travel to Australia" from key international markets for 2022 and beyond.

With November marking the month international travel finally returns for Australia, Robin Mack, the new head of Business Events Australia anticipates 2022 will be a big year for the local industry.

Throughout what he terms “the pause” to travel because of the pandemic, Tourism Australia and its business events unit have been working to keep Australia top of mind and maintain engagement with customers abroad.

And Robin Mack believes these efforts are set to pay off.

“As markets open again we will increase our focus on conversion, driving activity to capitalise on short to mid-term business as well as position Australia for long term growth,” he said.

Australia offers business events planners a low-risk destination that exceeds expectations, says Mack. Pictured: Darwin Convention Centre
Australia offers business events planners a low-risk destination that exceeds expectations, says Mack. Pictured: Darwin Convention Centre

He is encouraged that business leads from key international markets for 2022 and beyond are high.

“This is reflected in our international research, which indicates that 79% of association decision makers claim they are likely to visit Australia for an event in the next two years, while 69% of incentive decision makers claim they are likely to visit Australia in the next two years — rising to 82% in the next three years.

“It’s great to see such high intention to travel to Australia and the potential opportunities when international events are able to resume.”

To encourage international business events further, Business Events Australia offers a range of resources for planners including its Business Events Bid Fund Program which provides funding for event costs in Australia. It is designed to convert business in situations where Australia is bidding against international competitors for the right to host a business event.

“Submissions are assessed against mandatory criteria including supporting international incentive events that attract 700 international visitors and/or bring an economic value of more than AUD$3 million (US$2.17 million) to Australia,” said Mack.

“In addition, we have a range of resources available on the Business Events Australia website to assist business events planners, including a dedicated page on the latest meeting and event guidelines across Australia. Updated regularly, this page provides planners with information on the current restrictions for travel to Australia as well as useful links to assist them with planning.”

Business Events Australia also has a “toolkit” on its website that includes imagery and videos that can be downloaded free of charge and can be used for event bids, pitch presentations and for use on social media.

Mack believes Australia will see strong business from Asia once travel confidence returns. Pictured: On the Esplanade at Lagoon, Crystalbrook Riley in Cairns City
Mack believes Australia will see strong business from Asia once travel confidence returns. Pictured: On the Esplanade at Lagoon, Crystalbrook Riley in Cairns City

Events from Asia a key priority

As expected, meetings and incentives from Asia are a high priority for Australia, and Mack is confident once travel confidence returns the country will see strong business from this part of the world.

“As markets begin to open, like Singapore, we will deliver a targeted PR, content and marketing push to drive awareness that Australia is ready to welcome back business events, and a familarisation programme to bring qualified business events planners and media out to Australia to experience our offering first-hand when the time is right,” he said.

“Australia’s handling of the pandemic has been seen as relatively successful. If you combine this with direct flight access, an increased flight capacity from Singapore from late November onwards, an industry that has been successfully delivering Covid-safe events throughout the pandemic, wide open spaces and unique experiences — many outdoors and within nature — Australia offers business events planners a low-risk destination that exceeds expectations.”

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