The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB), commends Opposition Leader, Mark McGowen, on his pledge to invest $5 million per annum in the Perth Convention Bureau (PCB) if WA Labor wins office at next year’s state election.
AACB CEO, Andrew Hiebl said, “With tourism being identified by Deloitte as one of Australia’s five super-growth industries, now is not the time to cut investment in convention bureaux, especially with the mining boom transitioning to production.”
In 2014, Deloitte further described the business events sector as “a high-value, fast-growing component of the visitor economy”. One in five dollars spent by international visitors in Australia is spent by an international delegate attending some form of business event. In addition, international delegates spend, on average, 21% more than other international visitors over the course of their trip – and 77% more per day.
Hiebl added, “State and territory investment in convention bureaux around the country is a critical component of the public-private-partnership structures that they work under. Governments that are truly committed to the doubling of overnight expenditure in line with Australia’s Tourism 2020 targets will have a solid and secure investment strategy for the business events sector.”
“The extreme funding decrease of 28% announced by WA Treasurer Nahan last year would diminish the PCB’s capacity to bid for and win new international and national conventions for the state which would see Western Australia miss out on the opportunity to leverage this industry”.
Around the world, business events are being used as strategic tools for attracting trade, investment and global talent. Governments invest in the business events sector because they recognise not just the high yield, but also the long-term benefits accruing from growth in the visitor and knowledge-based economies.
AACB calls on the State Liberal Government to reverse its PCB funding cut decision and back a sector that can drive jobs and economic prosperity for Western Australia.