By Gwen O’Toole
A record 45 Australian exhibitors descended on Auckland attending the Pacific Area Incentives and Conferences Expo (PAICE) last week, with the Australian Pavilion stretching over half the exhibition floor.
“PAICE is an opportunity for Australia to showcase the $3.7 billion of new investment in business events infrastructure around the country,” said Tourism Australia managing director, Geoff Buckley. “Conference and incentive infrastructure is expanding at an impressive rate. From convention centres to hotels, resorts and unique attractions, Australia is investing in new facilities across the country to meet the needs of this market.
Buckley said there were strong motivating factors for New Zealanders to choose Australia as their conference and incentive destination, including Virgin Blue’s expanded cross-Tasman capacity, Australia’s wide selection of Green Globe-accredited meeting and conference facilities, and the publicity around Baz Luhrmann’s Australia is just the start.
“New Zealanders know better than anyone the impact a major motion picture can have on tourism and it’s with great anticipation that we look forward to the movie’s launch,” he said.
This year, 30 per cent of the Australian exhibitors at PAICE were new exhibitors. They include a diverse range of business events suppliers, including convention and visitor bureaus, hotels, resorts, convention centres, venues, team building options, attractions and transport operators.
“Our presence at PAICE is vital in keeping Australia front of mind for conference and incentive decision makers,” said Business Events Australia general manager, Joyce DiMascio.
“Keeping conference organisers updated on the array of new facilities, exciting products, bespoke programs and fresh ideas Australia’s business events community are creating will ensure New Zealand business travelers have attractive reasons to return.”