Australia’s economy has been boosted by an estimated $187 million worth of lucrative business events lured by the Federal government’s Bid Fund Program, according to a Liberal-National statement released today.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham, outlined the figure this morning in his remarks as part of opening festivities for the three-day Asia Pacific Incentives Meetings Event (AIME) trade forum, which began in Melbourne today.
The $12 million government fund is aimed at promoting Australia as a destination for business events, incentive groups and conferences through financial sweeteners. According to statistics, visitors to Australia in town for a business event spent more than double their leisure counterparts. Business events visitors were estimated to have pumped $4.9 billion into the Australian economy in the last 12 months, according to government statistics.
Funds available through the program are put towards successful delivery of the applicant’s event, with all applications assessed against strict criteria to judge their positive impact to both the economy (through hotel bookings and venue hire) and the industry represented.
Minister Birmingham said the Bid Fund Program had lured 14 major events to Australia’s shores in the last 12 months, including the 2019 SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit on the Gold Coast, which is estimated will deliver $6.7 million to the economy. In addition, the IATA Slot Conference in Brisbane ($3.2 million), UITP 2021 Global Public Transport Summit in Melbourne ($4.6 million) and the 13th Congress of International Plant Molecular Biology 2021 in Cairns will all be multi-million dollar-reaping showcases expected to pump millions more into local, state and federal coffers.
“In what is an increasingly crowded international marketplace, the fund provides Australia with an important competitive advantage when bidding to secure high-value international business events.
“But the success of the fund is not only the result of the government’s ongoing support, but of the hard work of the industry in securing these important events for Australia,” the Minister said.