A modest increase in the funding for Tourism Australia is a welcome sign in yesterday’s federal budget according to the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB).
The 2016-17 budget contained an increase for Tourism Australia taking funding commitments to $629.4 million over the forward four years.
“Investing in tourism is a smart decision by the government. Tourism has been identified as one of five super-growth industries that will power the Australian economy over the next decade,” said Andrew Hiebl, CEO of AACB.
“We welcome the modest increase in federal funds to market Australia internationally and look forward to working closely with Tourism Australia and its Business Events Australia division to continue to market Australia as a smart destination to business events decision makers.”
“High yielding business events play an integral role in the visitor and knowledge economies. Deloitte Access Economics reported that 1 in 5 dollars spent by international visitors in Australia is spent by an international visitor attending some form of business event, and that these delegates spend 77% more on a daily basis than leisure tourists.”
Lyn Lewis-Smith, President of AACB added that there is an argument for federal government to invest in the procurement of international conventions of national significance.
“Around the world our competitors actively invest in acquiring international business events that align with their economic agenda – underpinning knowledge creation and exchange, trade and investment.”
“The need to attract global conventions further aligns with the government’s innovation agenda. Innovation stimulates the economy and innovation relies on collaboration. International business events can play their part in the collaboration space by bringing together our experts with those from around the world as well as foreign investors. That’s why it is crucial to Australia that we convince as many of these global conventions to come to our shores as possible.”
Mr Hiebl added, “We also welcome other elements of the budget that ease the general visitor experience of Australia, such as the decision to freeze the passenger movement charge, introducing user-pays premium processing at our major airports and extending three-year multiple entry visas to several countries.”
“As part of the federal budget process, AACB put forward policy priorities that will help our convention bureaux attract more international business events to Australia. The AACB, together with the Business Events Council of Australia, looks forward to working with all political parties in the forthcoming election to ensure these priorities make their way into future budgets.”