Industry reacts to tourism and events restart timetable

Industry leaders have taken to social media to share their views on the timetable, saying the restart of business events should be sooner.

The Tourism Restart Timetable, released by the Australian Chamber of Tourism, has received backlash from the industry regarding the proposed relaunch of the business events sector.

According to the timetable, agreed on by the Chamber’s Tourism Restart Taskforce, Australian business events of less than 100 delegates would restart from 1 July 2020, while business events of more than 100 delegates would be possible from 10 September 2020.

Separate to business events, ticketed events of more than 100 attendees are set to go ahead from 15 October 2020.

Domestic travel and travel to New Zealand is proposed to resume from early July, while international travel to “safe countries” is tabled for mid-October.

In a LinkedIn post, Australian Chamber of Tourism executive chair John Hart said the industry schedule for restart “looks more and more possible every day”.

Industry professionals have taken to social media to share their thoughts on the proposed timeline, with many suggesting the restart date for business events should be earlier.

Spiro Anemogiannis, president of the Exhibition and Event Association of Australia (EEAA), said business events larger than 100 attendees should resume from August.

“At business events we can track everyone who comes to our venues. We can social distance. We can run multiple events in different rooms at our venues and rune them safely,” he said.

“So whilst a September start date as per the above timetable we feel that even an August start date is achievable in a bio-safe environment.”

Noel McDermott from event and conference management company IQPC said the business events industry needs to be given “a higher level of consideration and visibility”.

“Business events are a critical element in helping restart the economy and facilitating new business,” he said.

“They will also be conducted in a highly controlled environment with COVID safe protocols and 100 per cent visibility around who is in attendance.

“If people can sit cheek to jowl in an aeroplane for hours or socialise in pubs effective 1 July, this timetable around ticketed events seems arbitrary.”

Joyce DiMascio of The Venues Collection agreed, saying business events should restart sooner.

“Our sector can track attendees at any kind of event – conference, wedding, expo, dinners. We’ve had tracking software in place long before any COVID-10 APP (sic),” she said.

“Would you please do all you can in your position of tremendous influence to also support the events industry. We need this for our sectors – our venues were the first to close – and it looks like we’ll be the last to re-open.”

What are your thoughts on the proposed timeline? Share them in the comments below.

More reading

Exclusive: What the three-step COVID-19 framework means for business events
BECA outlines plan to restart business events
Is a trans-Tasman travel bubble the solution for recovery?
How do you feel about planning and attending events?

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