We could have guessed that the business event sector had turned a corner
in recent months without any formal reporting, and the strong and
positive outlook for the industry is confirmed by Tourism Australia's
just-released 2022 Business Events Consumer Demand Project has found
the level of confidence and comfort for event planning across Australia
continues to grow.
Tourism Australia surveyed 159 association decision makers from three
of Australia’s key markets and 399 corporate decision makers from nine
key markets between May and June this year.
The project is described as delivering insights into the factors
influencing decision makers when choosing a destination for events,
including how Australia is perceived and the impact Covid-19 has had on
the decision-making process.
Commenting on the study, Tourism Australia executive general manager
of commercial and Business Events Australia, Robin Mack, said event
decision makers are becoming increasingly confident with travelling and
running events abroad, with many expecting the number, size and budget
for upcoming programmes to be equal to or greater than they were
“It’s fantastic to see that decision makers remain optimistic about
the future of events and that there is a strong intention to visit
Australia for an event over the next two years,” Mack said.
And it’s not only meetings that are returning, with Mack saying
Australia is top-of-mind among incentive travel decision-makers and is
regarded as an “appealing destination” in the association meetings
Other findings were:
• 73% intend to plan an incentive trip in Australia within the next six to12 months
• 42% are considering Australia for an incentive trip in the next four years
Australia is regarded as No. 1 in terms of safety, security, excellent
business event facilities, and has world-class beauty and natural
Amongst incentive decision makers, Australia is the global leader in consideration, and we have experienced significant increases in appeal and intent over the last 12-months.
Robin Mack, executive general manager of commercial and Business Events Australia, Tourism Australia
Domestic business all fired up
On the domestic front, planners are also demonstrating a high level
of positive energy, with 84% of business decision-makers now planning
events within the next six to 12 months – a rise of 13% from February
And it appears as if local entities are taking note of their
sentiments with the NSW Government this week releasing a sweetener to
planners to entice them to hold a meeting or event in the state over the
coming 12 months.
The government is offering to fund up to A$60,000 (US$41,000) in
matched funding per business event held in 2023 in Greater Sydney,
Newcastle or Wollongong. It is the third and final round of the NSW
Government’s Accelerate Fund that was created during the pandemic to
help stimulate the return of business events.
Applicants can be based anywhere in the country so long as the event
takes place over at least one full day between 1 January and 30 November
2023, in an eligible venue in greater Sydney, in Newcastle (two hours
north of Sydney) or in Wollongong (one hour south of Sydney).
It is designed to offset the cost of venue hire, in-house catering or AV. NSW
Minister for Tourism, Ben Franklin, said the Accelerate programme has
invested millions into the business events sector since launch and
delivered economic stimulus to communities and industries which was
helping accelerate the state’s economic recovery.
“We know business events contribute significantly to the wider
tourism industry and this important investment will have a wide-reaching
impact for years to come both socially and economically.”
BESydney CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith said: “This first-come, first-served
funding is much-needed investment to help revive businesses and bring
tourism back to our cities. Business events bring locals and visitors
alike to our CBDs and support industry suppliers in accommodation,
entertainment, hospitality, tourism and business events sectors.”
Applications for round three of Accelerate are open now and close on 20 September 2022.