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Business events fund will reverse decline in Australia’s global ranking, says AACB

CEO of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) Andrew Hiebl

Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) CEO Andrew Hiebl believes the Federal Government’s $12m Bid Fund Program for the business events industry will help reverse Australia’s recent decline in global ranking and market share, having dropped out of the top ten in the International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) annual country rankings.

Hiebl said: “In 2016, Australia fell to 16th place in the (ICCA) country rankings, with global market share falling to 1.73%. A decade ago, Australia was consistently among the top 10 most popular countries to host major international association conventions.

“Our market intelligence shows a 14% decline in the number international bids won in 2017, while economic benefit is predicted to hold steady against 2016 due to increased delegate numbers and longer event durations overall. 39% of international business lost by Australia in 2017 was due to travel distance, followed by 22% due to total event costs and financial incentives offered by competing countries.

“The strength of our bid delivery is already recognised worldwide. We are confident that this policy initiative will only increase our international competitiveness and attract more business events to Australia.”

Karen Bollinger, AACB added that the investment represents further recognition to the importance of business events for Australia, and will cause significant disruption to the global business events landscape.

“This announcement is one of the most important developments for the business events industry in Australia to date,” Bollinger said.

“The Government’s investment through Tourism Australia’s Business Events Bid Fund Program will help bring strategic international business events of national significance to Australia. It will help Australia attract more international conventions which boost trade, investment, tourism jobs and help local industries showcase their capability on the world stage.

“Recent figures released by Ernst & Young indicate that the business events industry contributes $30 billion in direct expenditure and over 193,000 direct jobs each year.

“This investment will achieve strong results for Australians.”

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