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Australia’s Business Events Industry on the menu at EIBTM

November 20, 2013 Trade Events No Comments Email Email

Traditional markets in Europe continue to be an important focus for Australia’s business events industry, with a delegation of leading business events and convention industry operators joining Tourism Australia to showcase the very best the country has to offer at EIBTM in Barcelona from 19 to 21 November 2013.

“We are delighted to see confidence[1] returning to key markets, including Europe, and we anticipate this will have a positive impact on business confidence and ultimately the business events industry,” said Penny Lion, Head of Business Event Australia – the specialist business events marketing arm of Tourism Australia.  “EIBTM is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the latest innovations and offerings from across Australia’s vibrant business events industry, and remind the world why there’s nothing like Australia.”

A recent Tourism Australia survey revealed Australia is regarded as one of the best culinary destinations in the world, particularly by discerning British and French visitors.  Only 26 per cent of those surveyed associated Australia with good food and wine before visiting. However, after experiencing Australia first hand, visitors from the UK and France ranked Australia as number one for its food and wine offering among 15 key markets.  According to visitors from Europe in general, Australia is ranked second only after culinary giant France, and ahead of Italy (third).

“Exceptional experiences and world-class destinations are two of the main reasons Australia consistently ranks as a preferred business events destination,” said Penny Lion. “While these attributes remain high on every event planner’s list, it is increasingly our reputation as a culinary destination drawing business events to Australia, and our operators are tapping into that by offering food and wine experiences that are second to none.”

The EIBTM Australian delegation showcasing a range of Australian experiences available for meetings and incentive groups includes Arinex, Business Events Sydney, Cairns Convention Centre, Melbourne Convention Bureau and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Highlights from Australia

A roundup of some of the recent highlights from Australia’s business events industry including significant developments in infrastructure and services taking place throughout the country are detailed below: 

World-class chefs Neil Perry and Guillaume Brahimi appointed as Crown Resort’s Culinary Directors

Internationally renowned restaurateurs Neil Perry and Guillaume Brahimi have been appointed as Crown Resort’s Culinary Directors for the next three years.

This new joint-collaboration will add a five-star sparkle to Crown’s corporate events and conferences, and is the first time that the award winning chefs’ Australian cuisine is available for large-scale functions and events.

In this newly formed role, Perry and Brahimi will combine their expertise to influence all menus across Crown Hotels and Events and Conferencing, collaborating to create a new premium banquet menu, redevelop the in-room dining options at Crown Towers and continue to oversee Crown Resort’s world class food and beverage offerings.

New food & wine tours on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula

Tucked in amongst orchards, olive groves and vineyards, the Mornington Peninsula is well known for its Pinot Noir variety and home to over 50 wineries, venues and restaurants serving regional cuisine and catering for the business events market.

There are now three new ways incentive groups can explore the Mornington Peninsula, the award winning wine region in Victoria. With just a short, 45-minute drive from Melbourne, new food and wine tours by Green Olive at Red Hill and The Private Tour Guide have been launched. The tours include ‘Meet the Farmer and Chef’, ‘The Chef’s Secrets’ and ‘The Farmer’s Lunch’ and combine tours to local wineries, strawberry farms and cooking classes with optional activities including a visit to the Peninsula’s hot springs.

Crown Entertainment Complex

Worth more than AUD $90 million, Crown Melbourne’s newest destination, The West End, is now operational. The 15,000 square metres of the Clarendon Street end of the Crown Entertainment Complex is complete with two new restaurants, The Merrywell and Cotta, and two new bars, Lumia and The Common Room. The stylish new zone offers visitors premium and casual gaming, live entertainment and sports streaming from around the globe, perfect for down time during a conference.

Pullman Melbourne Albert Park renovated

Pullman Melbourne Albert Park has opened its doors following a multimillion-dollar renovation of its 169-guestrooms, executive lounge, meeting spaces and public areas. The hotel is known for its exceptional offering to high level teams and technologies for an exceptional event that combines design, space and atmosphere.

Pullman Melbourne Albert Park now has 28 event spaces under the one roof including the ballroom, which can host functions for up to 1600 people. The hotel is known for its exceptional offering to high level teams and technologies for an exceptional event that combines design, space and atmosphere. The hotel is also well known for its iPlan technology tool, which lets business events planners create their virtual ideal meeting room, then find it exactly as they envisaged.

Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Darling Harbour embarks on a further $160 million transformation project

Four Points by Sheraton, Darling Harbour is spearheading the transformation of Sydney’s vibrant Darling Harbour as a convention precinct by investing in excess of $160 million into the development project, adding a third tower and 230 rooms to what is already Australia’s largest hotel by room number.

The property will have a total of over 900 guest rooms once complete. The development will also address the reduction of event facilities in the CBD area during the remake of Sydney’s Convention and Exhibition Centre, with new, additional hotel features including 4,810 square metres of pillar-less convention, exhibition and function space.

ICC Sydney bookings flow

Business Events Sydney says that more than $30 million of business has already been secured for the new International Convention Centre Sydney, despite the facility not even opening for another three years.  There’s a strong focus on professional and legal services in the wins, with the five events including the 4000-delegate International Bar Association Annual Conference 2017, and the International Association of Restructuring Insolvency Bankruptcy Congress 2017 with 800 delegates.

NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said the professional services meetings reinforced Sydney’s standing as “Australia’s global city and one of the world’s major financial centres.”

Aviation update

There are an increasing number of carriers operating flights from the UK to Australia, and the willingness to increase those services can be seen from recent new route additions such as the recently announced Malaysia Airlines London to Darwin service.

Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan has stated that Australia remains a “key market” for the airline, with 28 departures per week from the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub. Etihad Airways plans to launch nonstop service to Perth and will deploy A380s to Sydney and Melbourne from 2014.

Virgin Atlantic The airline’s market share on the Australia route has increased by 2% to 3% over the past year as a direct result of the changes that Qantas and Emirates have made.

Cathay Pacific has stated the fifth daily return flight to London which launched in late Jun-2013, has been an immediate success story. Load factors in the first few weeks consistently hit the 90% range, in line with existing services. However, it is sales in Australia that have played a major role in supporting the new service.


[1]  Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Report Q3, 2013 – http://nielsen.com/us/en/reports/2013/consumer-confidence-concerns-and-spending-intentions.html

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