Tourism Australia research finds optimism for events industry future

Tourism Australia has released the findings of its latest international research, which indicate that despite the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the business event industry remains largely positive about its future.

Tourism Australia has today released its Business Consumer Demand Project (CDP), comprising of new international research which indicates that despite the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the business event industry remains optimistic about its future.

The CDP research, which helps inform Tourism Australia’s international business events strategy, surveyed 163 decision makers from the association sector and 354 from the incentive sector in 11 of Australia’s key markets to better understand the perception of Australia as a business events destination.

The study found that while Australia is still considered a highly desirable destination, factors such as distance, time and costs are seen as the main barriers to holding a business event here. Furthermore, an effective rollout of the vaccine was also the primary driver to resuming events for decision makers.

Despite the challenges faced by the global business events sector, the research shows that association and incentive decision makers are largely positive about the industry’s future with organisations ready to do a significant event once travel is unrestricted and events can freely take place.

The majority of decision makers across both the association and incentive sector indicated that the number of events held post-pandemic will be the same or greater and that the available budget will increase, which reflects that organisations will have the funds from not being able to hold in-person events for some time.

According to Tourism Australia, Australia is well-placed to benefit from this, especially among those who view the country as a bucket list destination.

“By understanding what influences decision-makers when choosing a destination for business events, we can deliver strategies that capitalise on these factors and ultimately help secure more business for Australia once international travel resumes,” Tourism Australia executive general manager Commercial & Business Events Australia, Robin Mack said.

Overall, the research found that Australia continues to appeal as an incentive destination, with 69 percent of incentive decision makers saying they are likely to visit Australia in the next two years – rising to 82 percent in the next three years. Meanwhile, 79 percent of association decision makers say they are likely to visit Australia for an event in the next two years.

This latest research will help guide Tourism Australia’s strategy in preparation for the return of international business events and is one of several projects the organisation’s specialist unit, Business Events Australia is delivering to support the industry in its recovery from the pandemic.

In the meantime, Tourism Australia will continue to provide support to industry through ongoing initiatives and programs, like the Business Events Boost Program to support domestic business events while international events are on hold.

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