Convention centres were specifically listed as being eligible for funding under a “Northern Australia Tourism Infrastructure Fund”, which would be established if Labor wins the upcoming Federal Election.
Speaking on behalf of the business events industry, the CEO of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux, Andrew Hiebl, said: “Business events – conventions, incentives, exhibitions and meetings – are one of the most important drivers of business in the tourism industry.
“Therefore, quality airport, hotel and convention centre infrastructure is a baseline requirement to win and attract more business events to Australia.
“Expenditure by delegates from overseas who attend business events in Australia generates more than $2.2 billion in gross domestic product and 22,500 jobs on an annual basis.”
Mr Hiebl said there are many other benefits of upgraded business events infrastructure – in all parts of Australia.
“The better the experience that international delegates have when they attend business events in Australia, the more likely they are to return, with more than 60 per cent likely to visit our nation again with family and friends within two years,” he said.
“The Opposition’s proposal for an even greater focus on visitors from Asia is welcome – with more than 30 per cent of international business event delegates currently from Asia, the prospects for further growth are greater than any other market.”