New business events data shows sector contributed $20.9bn to economy in 2023

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New data shows business events contributed $20.9 billion to Australia’s economy in 2023. This included spending of $10.4 billion on food, drink, and accommodation, $4.4 billion on domestic airfares and $1.1 billion on tours and entertainment.

The data comes from a new business events dashboard that has been launched to help the sector better understand and plan for business events travellers across Australia.

Created by Tourism Research Australia (TRA) and funded by the Federal Government, the interactive, publicly accessible dashboard provides official statistics on business events and related travel expenditure. The data will be updated and released quarterly.

TRA’s quarterly statistics also show that total international visitor expenditure in 2023 returned to 89 per cent of its pre-Covid peak. International visitors spent $28 billion in Australia, an increase of 120 per cent on 2022.

“Australia has a well-earned reputation as a global business events leader, encouraging both domestic and international visitors to embrace the opportunity to attend our world-class business events and explore the country,” said Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell.

“We’ve long known that business events generate significant economic activity. They facilitate the exchange of ideas and products, and create new networks that, in turn, stimulate trade and investment, attract talent, foster innovation, and improve productivity.

“The development of this new business events data dashboard will better measure that contribution and help identify opportunities for the industry.”

Australian Business Events Association CEO Melissa Brown said the new data is something the business events industry has been working towards.

“The new data will enable the industry to better articulate its value in driving long-term growth for the economy, as well as the role the thousands of suppliers, organisers, venues, bureaux, and local communities play in supporting business events, creating jobs, and empowering industry,” she said.

“From a small business meeting in regional Australia, through to international conventions hosting thousands in the cities, the collation of the right data to validate the value of the business events activity is critical to the success of the industry and the economy at large.”