The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) held an inaugural Business Leaders’ Dinner within its annual conference Destination Business Events earlier last month with 40 of the business events industry’s most influential leaders meeting with Assistant Minister for Regional Tourism Jonathon Duniam.
The event titled ‘Growing Business Events and the case for Regional Dispersal’, sought to highlight the importance of business events to Australia and regional destinations.
“This was a great opportunity to better understand the benefit that the business events industry brings to my portfolios of Regional Tourism as well as Forestry and Fisheries,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.
“I thank the AACB for professionally coordinating this leadership dinner and allowing me to engage with this very important industry.”
Matt Colston, Associate Partner at Ernst & Young, provided an overview of the ’Value of Business Events to Australia’, which was followed by a facilitated discussion led by Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO at BESydney.
The discussion identified barriers to growth including regional infrastructure, access and connectivity, the need for visa reform (fees and charges), and labour and skills challenges.
“The business events industry is greatly appreciative of the Government’s introduction of a bid fund for Australia and recent amendments announced to the program, making it more accessible to Regional Australia,” said AACB president Michael Matthews.
“It supports a positive strategy of improving our international competitiveness. Through its success, attracting more business events will drive high yield visitation to regional Australia and generate jobs across the tourism and events sector.
“As such, more robust and consistent measurement of the business events industry, including the economic benefit that it provides to Australia, is required as a priority. We stand collectively as an industry to co-invest with the Government to address this issue.”