Big jump in delegate numbers Down Under for new minister to build on

Australasia News
Big jump in delegate numbers Down Under for new minister to build on

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has announced an increase of 32% in visitors arriving to attend a conference in the country.

The figures cover the 12 months to June 2018 y-on-y. And, for the single month of June this year, alone, there were a total of 21,100 arrivals in June 2018 whose main purpose of coming to Australia was a convention/conference. This translates to a 19% increase against June 2017 (17,700).

The latest change in Australia’s prime minister has seen Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham (pictured) appointed to the trade, tourism and investment in the new Morrison government.

The Association of Australian Convention Bureau (AACB) welcomed the new minister, who has previous experience across Australia’s wine, tourism and hospitality industries, saying: “We know that the high yield business events sector will be in good hands.

“We look forward to working with minister Birmingham to drive growth in this important industry and maximise opportunities that business events bring the broader Trade and Investment portfolio.”

Previous minister, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, moves to the defence portfolio, having left a legacy of delivering the federal Business Events Bid Fund Program through Tourism Australia. That fund was launched in March this year.

Minister Birmingham said of his new role: “Australia’s openness to the world is an essential ingredient in the jobs of millions of Australians…I acknowledge the outstanding achievements of Steven Ciobo who, together with Malcolm Turnbull, oversaw record tourist numbers, enhanced our trade access with countries such as Singapore and Peru, kicked off the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement negotiations as well as most notably securing the Trans-Pacific Partnership against the expectations of many.”

The AACB, meanwhile, has recognised Mike Cannon, its executive director for 12 years, as an industry pioneer and Hall of Fame inductee. Sponsored by the IMEX Group, the award recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of Australian convention bureaux and the business events industry. The announcement was made at the AACB Annual Conference earlier this month.

In other AACB news, Shannon Thwaites, manager – global business events at Destination Gold Coast has been awarded the AACB Staff Scholarship for 2018/19. Her winning proposal was on future proofing talent in the business events industry and involves analysing methods to transfer knowledge and experiences and to connect current leaders with future leaders.

And Destination NSW CEO, Sandra Chipchase, and AACB CEO, Andrew Hiebl, will join forces to present ‘Business Events – Opportunities for Regional Australia’ at the Australian Regional Tourism Convention.

The session will explore the business events readiness of regional destinations, and how to grow your piece of this high yielding sector.

The ART Convention will be held at Tweed NSW over 23-25 October 2018, with the theme ‘Pushing the Boundaries’.

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World. Write Paul an E-mail