BRISBANE – Since early April, Queensland and Brisbane have seen a consolidated flattening of the curve of COVID-19 numbers, with daily increases dropping to under 1%. On 20 April, Queensland recorded its first day with no new cases and since that time, has recorded numerous days without new cases.
While this is encouraging, the coronavirus pandemic has heavily impacted Brisbane’s business event industry, as it has around the world. Brisbane Marketing GM, Business and Major Events, Ms Juliet Alabaster, said: “As the city’s economic development board, Brisbane Marketing is focused on supporting our local industry and clients through this challenging time.
“The next six months will continue to be challenging for Brisbane’s business events industry as we patiently wait for the safe easing of restrictions on mass gatherings.”
Brisbane Marketing’s venues, hotels, tourism operators and event service providers are using this time to formalise their COVID-safe operational plans and adapt their product offerings for success in post-COVID19 world
Fortunately, the vast majority of business events that were to be held in Brisbane in 2020 have been postponed rather than cancelled.
“There is a good chance that Australia will welcome New Zealand visitors before other international destinations and we aware of some incentive events that may relocate to Brisbane,” she added.
Brisbane: the vast majority of business events that were to be held in Brisbane in 2020 have been postponed rather than cancelled. Credit: Brisbane Marketing
When it is safe to travel again, Brisbane Marketing will also work closely with the recipients of the Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant who are the city’s top emerging researchers in areas of mobile robots and stem cells, among other recipients.
The grant aims to enlist the city’s early-career professionals and researchers to help draw valuable industry conferences to Brisbane. The grant delivers up to A$30,000 (US$20,166) worth of grants per annum, each to a maximum value of A$5,000. Recipients will attend international conferences in their field and work with Brisbane to bid for future events.
“This grant programme has proved an important part of our bidding strategy and we hope to see future success once the international business events industry gets back on its feet,” said Ms Alabaster.
Brisbane has jumped 18 spots to reach 66th place in the latest International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) 2019 Statistics Report, making it the top16% of global cities benchmarked for their ability to attract international association meetings.
The city has undergone growth with new developments that include the opening of Brisbane Airport’s new second runway in July 2020, doubling the airport’s capacity.
A new international cruise ship terminal will open in late 2020, and in 2022, the A$3.6 billion Queens Wharf Brisbane integrated resort and casino will welcome its first visitors.
Accommodation has been bolstered by 20 new four- and five-star hotels over the past five years, and its nature-based experiences include world heritage rainforests, islands and mountain peaks – all within an hour’s drive from the city.