Queensland convention centres get $7m boost to attract conferences

The newly refurbished Cairns Convention Centre is ready to attract more conferences with the new funding.

A new $7 million program aims to attract business events to the three state-owned convention centres in Queensland – Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Cairns Convention Centre and Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Queensland Government Convention and Exhibition Centre Economic Recovery Bid Support Program aims to boost the centres’ competitiveness in securing national conferences and bring business travellers back to Queensland.

Events can apply for financial assistance of $100 per delegate for maximum of 1,000 delegates with the opportunity for events to increase this to $120 per delegate if they do a multi-year deal.

The conferences must have a minimum of 350 delegates with at least 50 per cent of delegates from outside Queensland. The events need to align with Queensland’s priority industry sectors and may qualify for multi-year support.

“This targeted support package will drive confidence within the industry and accelerate the business events supply chain, boosting local businesses including Brisbane’s hotels, restaurants and many attractions and experiences,” said Bob O’Keeffe, general manager of the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Adrienne Readings, general manager of Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, said the funding will help raise the profile of the three centres.

“This critical investment provides us with an excellent opportunity to attract valuable national business events to the State, stimulating the tourism sector and overall visitor economy for Queensland,” she said.

Janet Hamilton, general manager at Cairns Convention Centre, believes the funding will give the Cairns region and Queensland a much needed boost post-Covid.

“Tropical North Queensland Tourism has been hit hard by Covid, boosting the business travel sector in Cairns will significantly help the region’s operators and fill the hotel rooms,” she said.

“This funding support program from the Queensland Government along with the recently completed refurbishment and the current expansion of the Cairns Convention Centre provides events the perfect opportunity to come to Cairns.”