Australia still ranks high on global incentive wish list

Tourism Australia has released new international research today which indicates that despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, association and incentive decision makers are optimistic about the industry’s future.

The Business Events Consumer Demand Project (CDP) surveyed 163 decision makers from the association sector and 354 from the incentive sector in 11 of Australia’s key markets to better understand the perception of Australia as a business events destination.

While Australia is still considered a highly desirable destination, the main barriers to holding a business event in Australia remain distance, time and costs. An effective rollout of the Covid vaccine was also the primary driver to event resumption for association decision makers.

The research suggests that organisations are ready to do an event of significance, once travel is unrestricted and events can freely take place.

Despite the challenges faced by the global business events sector, the research has shown that the sentiment is largely positive and optimistic for the future of the business events industry, with the majority of decision makers across both the association and incentive sector indicating that the number of events held post pandemic will be the same or greater and the available budget will increase.

Overall, the research found that Australia continues to appeal as an incentive destination, with 69 per cent of incentive decision makers saying they are likely to visit Australia in the next two years – rising to 82 per cent in the next three years.

While 79 per cent of association decision makers say they are likely to visit Australia for an event in the next two years.

“By understanding what influences decision-makers when choosing a destination for business events we can deliver strategies that capitalise on these factors and ultimately help secure more business for Australia once international travel resumes,” said Robin Mack, Tourism Australia’s executive general manager Commercial & Business Events Australia.

“This research is one of several projects Tourism Australia’s specialist unit, Business Events Australia, is delivering to help support recovery and Australia’s business events industry as it navigates the ongoing challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic.”