Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas - EDITED

Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) is set to be hosted in Cairns for the first time in 2014, helping to further bolster the country’s AUD$107 billion tourism sector.

Organised by Tourism Australia, the annual event brings together 725 overseas travel buyers from 39 countries to meet with around 1,500 Australian delegates from 470 companies from every state and territory.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said ATE was the most significant annual trade marketing activity for the tourism industry, enabling Australian tourism businesses to build relationships with wholesale travel agents who sell Australian holidays internationally.

“In previous years the immediate economic impact of ATE to the host destination has been around $13.4 million and 10,000 visitor nights, whilst also providing the longer term benefits of tourism generated through the business forged during the event,” he said.

“The relationships built at ATE are important for converting the demand for Australia’s tourism experiences.

“During ATE international buyers have the opportunity to not only meet face-to-face with hundreds of Australian tourism suppliers, from our hotels, tour operators, to our attractions, but also experience the destination first-hand through pre and post touring,” he said.

ATE 2014 will be held in Cairns as part of an agreement between event organiser Tourism Australia and major sponsor and host state tourism organisation Tourism and Events Queensland.

“Queensland and Cairns are always well represented at ATE and now the destination has the opportunity to share with the world what is unique and special about their part of the Australia,” McEvoy said.

“It will be a very special edition of ATE held right on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef for the very first time. We expect that international buyers will welcome this opportunity to do business with Australian tourism suppliers in this incredible regional destination.”

ATE 2014 will mark the fourth time Queensland has hosted the event since its establishment in 1979.

Tourism Australia and Tourism and Events Queensland will announce further details about the event format, venues and dates in coming weeks.