Promoting Australia as a key business event destination was high on the agenda at the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) staff conference in Brisbane yesterday.

Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon. Keith Pitt MP spoke at the conference which brings together industry leaders and senior executives from convention bureaux around the country.

The AACB and its members represent more than 1700 tourism and events industry operators.

Assistant Minister Pitt said the business events sector is a major economic driver, not only for the visitor economy but also in the generation of trade, investment and employment.

“Business events are expected to be worth $16 billion to the Australian economy by 2020.

“And where else would you rather come? Where else would you want to send your delegates to be informed and educated than here? This is a fabulous country. Anyone that knows anything about sales knows you need to have a good product to start with, and there is no better product than Australia,” he said.

Business events visitors account for 11 per cent of all international arrivals and these visitors often extend their visit to regional parts of Australia and are likely to return for a holiday in the future.

They also spend more with an average overnight spend of $322 per night, compared with $153 average spent by all overnight visitors in Australia.

“Tourism Australia’s dedicated business events team promote Australia’s world-class business events capacity through an integrated marketing and trade strategy – a strategy that delivers inspiration and awareness to international associations and incentives decision makers,” Assistant Minister Pitt said.

“Australia already has a track record of delivering exceptional events and a reputation for having beautiful landscapes, excellent food and wine, and friendly welcoming people.

“The Business Events Australia team and the AABC have worked hard to expand that message, to ensure we’re also known for our innovative people and expertise in key knowledge sectors such as healthcare, science and technology.

“Highlighting our ever-expanding infrastructure, our innovation and our ability to connect international associations with the brightest minds in Australia are key to the success of the business events industry. That work delivers tangible benefits not only for our economy but for knowledge and development across the world,” he said.

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