Australia is missing out on up to a billion dollars a year in delegate expenditure, according to the chief of the country’s national association representing convention bureaus.
The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) has produced a fresh analysis of its members’ bids won, lost and bids in the pipeline for the years ahead, which reveals the number of business events won for Australia has declined markedly. The analysis comes in the form of a new edition of the Forward Calendar of International Business Events.
Andrew Hiebl, CEO of the AACB, says that the timing of the recent announcement of the A$12m (US$9.2m) Tourism Australia Business Events Bid Fund could not be more perfect set against this background trend.
“New data shows a decline in the number of international business events secured for Australia into the future (361 down from 396 six months ago),” Hiebl revealed. “A total of 304 international business events were lost, translating to A$1bn in delegate expenditure that will now be spent in other countries.
“The timing of the recent bid fund announcement is important. Only a decade ago, Australia was consistently among the top 10 most popular countries to host major international association conventions (International Congress and Convention Association’s country rankings). In 2016, our ranking dropped to 16th in the world,” Hiebl added.
He said, however, he was “confident that the decline in our international positioning can be reversed with this increased investment from the Australian Government, helping Australia secure more international business events. There are currently 236 international business events in the pipeline, with potentially half a billion dollars in expenditure to be won.”
The number of delegates and associated total delegate spend expected from business secured has seen an increase, however, testament to the strategic efforts of Australia’s convention bureaux to attract more high-yielding business events to the country.
The new AACB report shows the top three industries for attracting events include Health Care and Social Assistance (33.5%), Professional, Scientific and Social Assistance (18.3%), and Financial and Insurance Services (6.9%).