The federal government has given Tourism Australia $12 million to create a “bid fund” for organisations looking to lure business events Down Under.
Federal Trade and Tourism Minister Steve Ciobo has tipped in the cash over three years from July 1 this year to create the Business Events Bid Fund Program (BFP), which will target new, high-value international incentive, association, and exhibition events.
“Business events travellers are high yielding, spending on average twice as much as a leisure visitor, often extending their visit to regional parts of Australia and returning for a holiday in the future; making them crucial to the broader Australian economy,” Ciobo said.
“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.”
Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan said being able to offer financial incentives will help as more and more global destinations run national bid funds.
“Australia risks losing market share to our competitors if our business events industry is not able to compete on a level playing field,” he said.
The program will be run by TA’s Business Events Australia unit and offers financial support for event costs such as accommodation or venue hire.
To get support the event needs to meet a range of criteria, including attracting minimum 500 international visitors and the minimum support is $100,000.
A prospectus for the new bid program is available online here and applications for next financial year need to be submitted by May 1 for assessment.