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The business events sector is a major driver of our visitor economy, with international business event visitors spending more on average than leisure visitors while in Australia. The sector also plays a key role in generating trade, investment, and employment.

To achieve our aim of raising consideration for Australia as a business events destination and growing international business opportunities for Australian industry, our dedicated unit, Business Events Australia (BEA), delivers marketing communications and trade distribution and development programs targeting two specific sectors: association congresses and incentive events. All activity is focused on three areas:

  1. Building awareness through tailored messaging delivered via owned, bought and earned channels that target association and incentive decision makers
  2. Distribution development with international business events planners through a program of educational and trade events, including Tourism Australia’s signature incentive showcase, Dreamtime
  3. Strengthening business conversion opportunities for Australian industry through programs including the Business Events Bid Fund Program and Advance Program; and sharing insights on target consumers.

At 30 June 2020, expenditure by international business events visitors from Tourism Australia’s target markets was worth $1.33 billion, a decrease of 41 per cent year on year. There were 706,000 visitors from our target markets in the same period, down 50 per cent year on year.

The coronavirus outbreak in the latter half of the year had a substantial impact on the business events sector, with decreased numbers and spend for international business events visitors predominantly attributed to no events travelling from late in quarter 3, following the closure of Australia’s international borders on 20 March 2020.