New figures from an Ernst & Young study for the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) has put the economic contribution of Australia’s business events industry at nearly A$25bn (US$19.2bn).
The new report, released this week, is an update of a 2013/14 study. The new key figures covering the 2015/16 period show that business events:
• contributed $30.2bn in direct expenditure, compared to $28bn in 2013/14.
• critically supported Australia’s GDP with a total economic contribution of $24.9bn, compared to $23.1bn the previous period.
• provided 193,203 direct jobs, increasing from 179,357 in the previous period.
Matthew Hingerty, chairman of BECA, said: “The study provides a compelling case of the direct and indirect impact on the Australian economy and demonstrates why governments and industry should continue to invest in the sector.”
While the report reveals the strength of the business events industry in Australia, on an international level Australia is falling behind. Key assumptions reflect growth in local (2.7%) and national (13.0%) delegates, with a decline (-3%) in international delegates.
Hingerty said that the business events sector was under-appreciated for the benefits it delivers to the economy, including its role in enabling trade. “It can be argued that business events are the mechanisms whereby new trade can be generated as market participants travel to meet each other, study the opportunities, confer, and exhibit their goods and services – further enhancing the Australian government’s free trade agreements,” he said.
“The study reconfirms the business events sector’s dimension, influence and potential. However, the industry and governments must work together to leverage this great opportunity before us,” Hingerty added and noted was BECA was undertaking a process to determine the future research needs of the industry.