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Australian Government announces $12 million Business Events Bid Fund Program
Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo has today announced the launch of a $12 million Business Events Bid Fund Program.
Administered by Tourism Australia, the national bid fund will make $12 million available over the next three years to support bids for new, high-value international incentive, association, and exhibition events.
Speaking at Tourism Australia’s Destination Australia Conference in Melbourne today, Minister Ciobo stated “in the increasingly competitive global world of business events, we recognise that more needs to be done to ensure that Australia maintains a competitive edge against other international destinations “We will help provide Australia with a competitive advantage when bidding to secure new high-value international business events through the establishment of Australia’s first ever federal government-funded business events bid fund.
“The Program will offer financial support at the crucial bidding stage for international corporate incentive trips, exhibitions, association conferences and congresses.
“Importantly, the funds will go towards covering costs associated with the delivery of an event within Australia, ensuring every dollar goes back into the Australian economy and supports local jobs through accommodation bookings, transport, venues and more.”
Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan said that being able to offer financial incentives to help convert bids of national significance into confirmed business would allow Australia to compete more aggressively with the many destinations that already operated national bid funds.
Advising that the new bid fund will help Australia compete on an international stage, O’Sullivan stated “Australia risks losing market share to our competitors if our business events industry is not able to compete on a level playing field.
“That’s why the new Tourism Australia Business Events Bid Fund Program is a game-changer, allowing us to grow our competitive advantage in this critical and lucrative segment of the visitor economy.”
The program will be managed by Tourism Australia’s business events unit, Business Events Australia, with funds only provided for qualified international business events once the event is confirmed and contracted for Australia.
The announcement of the Fund has been welcomed by the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA).
EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio, says the industry has been campaigning for many years for the Federal Government to make a bigger commitment to leverage Australia’s potential as a place for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions.
DiMascio advised “this is a step in the right direction and will help boost Australia’s capacity to attract events to Australia. It will position Tourism Australia’s Business Events team as important boosters of Australia’s international competitiveness in the face of growing competition from the Asia-Pacific region.
“We are particularly pleased the $12 million ‘bid fund’ is designed to be ‘agnostic’ and will be open to all types of business events including exhibitions - provided they meet the criteria and can demonstrate clear ROI in international delegates and attendees and spending of over $3 million.”
EEAA President, Spiro Anemogiannis said the commitment of new funds added to current programs run by Business Events Australia will help boost the sector’s competitiveness.
Anemogiannis added “Australia faces enormous competition in the international business events market and a key measure to maintain our competitiveness is to increase funding for the sector.
“The announcement of $12 million is a good start, however, we will continue to call on both the Government and the Opposition to deliver more.”
Applications for the new Tourism Australia Business Events Bid Fund can be submitted from 1st May with access to the funds for successful applications available from 1st July.
The prospectus for the new bid program is available online at www.australia.com/businessevents
Images: Top, from left: Andrew Heibl of the AACB, Penny Lion of Business Events Australia, Minister Steve Ciobo, Joyce DiMascio and Karen Bolinger of the Melbourne Convention Bureau celebrate the announcement at the Destination Australia Conference. Lower image, EEAA President, Spiro Anemogiannis
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