The Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism business-to-business travel trade event, in underway in Melbourne, the first time the city has hosted it since 2009.
This year, ATE15 sees over 90 new Australian tourism products participating in the event for the first time – more than double the level seen in the previous two events. New contenders this year range from 1770 Larc Tours, which operates a pink amphibious vehicle on a tour that ventures inside Queensland’s only operating lighthouse, to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Tasmania and Segway Tours WA, which takes the walking out of pedestrian touring around Perth and Rottnest Island.
ATE15 is set to bring together about 600 travel wholesalers and retailers from 36 countries to meet and do business with up to 1500 Australian tourism seller delegates from 500 different companies.
The precursor to ATE15, ATE Media Marketplace, presented in partnership with TravMedia, got off to a good start, with 87 media representatives from around the world holding one-on-one meetings with Australian tourism businesses, transportation companies, special interest operators, attractions and accommodation providers.
Journalists and tourism company representatives said afterwards they found the event well worthwhile.
Buyers and media were yesterday enjoying familiarisation tours around Victoria, hosted by regional tourist boards and local businesses. The tours covered Goldfields, Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island and Yarra Valley.
Predictably, the midwinter weather isn’t exactly warm – in fact the Bureau of Meteorology recorded a nippy 2.6 degrees in Melbourne at 6.30am yesterday, falling again to 2.2 degrees an hour later, making it the coldest morning since 4 August 2015 when a low of 1.7 degrees was recorded. Outlying areas were colder still.
But the day was bright and fine with beautiful blue sky and great hospitality kept delegates warm.
Written by Peter Needham