Melbourne's Yarra River

 Australia is fast becoming a destination for work, as well as play, with new Tourism Research Australia (TRA) figures estimating AUD$10 billion was spent in 2011 by business event visitors.

The Business Events Visitors 2011 snapshot, released late last week, shows that business travel has recovered from the Global Financial Crisis and a AUD$1.8 billion decline in visitor expenditure in 2009.

The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson, said Australia is increasingly seen as an attractive option for international business event visitors.

“Compared to 2010, international business event visitor expenditure rose by 14% and international business event visitor numbers rose by 8% to 881,000,” Minister Ferguson said.

“International business event visitors have also spent more time in the country, an increase of 12% to 14 million nights in 2011.

“This is important for the industry as the business travel market is a high-yield market, with business event travellers generally spending AUD$100 per night more than other types of traveller.

“While these results are encouraging, we believe the business events sector has even greater potential and Government is working with industry to achieve AUD$16 billion in delegate expenditure by 2020.

“As well as increased research into the best way to serve the sector, the Government, through Tourism Australia, has launched a new campaign aimed at corporate meeting and event planners and appointed a business events manager to its Shanghai office.

“We have also just released a joint Tourism Australia and Austrade investment guide. The industry must also develop suitable accommodation and facilities to attract additional investment and grow business travel to Australia,” Ferguson said.

The full Business Events Visitors 2011 snapshot is available at

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management

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