Tourism Australia’s Executive General Manager Marketing, Nick Baker, and Head of Business Events Australia, Joyce DiMascio, have provided insight into the strategic steps being taken to competitively promote Australia to the international incentive travel market.
With travel to Australia across all sectors being impacted by the global financial downturn, Tourism Australia is committed to the incentive travel sector, and to providing real opportunities for Australian sellers to showcase their products.
“Buyers for the incentive travel market are a niche audience and forums for buyers and sellers to meet and create strong connections are very effective in achieving results for Australia,” Mr Baker said.
“Dreamtime gives Australian sellers an opportunity to build relationships with international buyers, and is part of the approach to combat the global downturn.”
Research conducted by Tourism Research Australia confirms that the international incentive travel market is especially important for the economy. In 2008, 1.6 million visitors participated in an incentive visit to Australia and although only 11 per cent were international visitors, they contributed 51 per cent ($676 million) of the total spending by incentive travellers in the year.
“International business events and incentive travellers accounted for 3 per cent of all visitors to Australia in 2008 but 7 per cent of tourism expenditure,” Ms DiMascio said.
“Our commitment to this high yielding sector is demonstrated by creating forums like Dreamtime 2009, and our increased investment in Australia’s presence at trade events such as the upcoming Asia Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) 2010.”
The Australian industry is continuing to invest in the supply side with a significant amount of new infrastructure. An inventory produced by Tourism Australia has found that $8.1 billion has been invested in new facilities across accommodation, venues, conference centres and incentive activities over the past two years.
“There is currently a significant amount of activity around new and upgraded infrastructure, which is essential in ensuring Australia continues to offer world-class facilities to international business events visitors,” Ms DiMascio said.
Over 80 qualified buyers from 15 of Australia’s key markets across North and South Asia, Japan, New Zealand, UK, USA and Europe were in Sydney for Dreamtime 2009, and participated in hosted educational visits to five of Australia’s top incentive destinations: Adelaide/Kangaroo Island, Brisbane/Sunshine Coast, the Red Centre, Melbourne and Sydney.
“Events such as Dreamtime are an invaluable opportunity for buyers and sellers to meet and to pursue real business,” Ms DiMascio said.
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