Extra funding has been pumped into Queensland’s business events industry to encourage more in-person meetings. However the news comes as parts of the state, including Brisbane and the Gold Coast, enter into extended lockdown (until 8 August) following a hotel quarantine leak.
The funding is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan, following an earlier round of funding in March that helped secure 20 business events with a total of 8,300 delegates and an expected value of AU$14 million (approx. US$10 million).
These events include the 2021 National Property Conference, the 2021 Australian and New Zealand Metabolic and Obesity Surgery Society Conference, and the 2021 Positive Schools Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference.
Tourism minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the latest round of funding — which launched on 30 July — will support new corporate and association conferences in Queensland to December 2022.
“[We want] to give business the confidence to Zoom less and hold more face-to-face, Covid-safe conferences and conventions in Queensland.
“Business visitors often spend more in conference destinations and are likely to return with family for a holiday experience.That’s what makes business travellers so important to tourism operators and helping Queensland’s visitor destinations to rebuild better.”
To qualify for funding, events must include more than 350 delegates with a minimum stay of two days. Half of all delegates must be visiting from outside the Local Government Area where the event is being held.
Programme funding must also be spent in Queensland to cover costs associated with venue hire, accommodation, or ground transfers.
Brisbane also recently scored another gold for its events industry, being named host city of the 2032 Summer Olympics.
This will mark the third Olympics in Australia, following the Melbourne Games in 1956 and the 2000 Games in Sydney. Events will be staged across Queensland, including in Gold Coast, which hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.