The ICCA Country & City Rankings released earlier this week shows that Australia has moved up one place to 13th position with a total of 265 international association meetings held in 2018.
The report by the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) examines the global association meetings market. It recorded a total of 12,937 rotating international association meetings taking place in 2018 – an increase of 3 per cent compared against the same time in 2017.
AACB CEO, Andrew Hiebl says that: “While we are within grasp of a top 10 position, last held in 2006, now is not the time to become complacent. Our global share of these meetings is not increasing, currently 2 per cent, at a time when the Asia Pacific’s total share is expanding.”
Strong regional competition saw:
• Japan in 7th place with 492 meetings,
• China 8th with 449 meetings, and
• Republic of Korea 12th with 273 meetings.
“Positive policies that improve Australia’s competitiveness, such as the introduction of Tourism Australia’s bid fund program announced in 2018, help Australia’s convention bureaux attract more business events to the country,” said Hiebl.
“With a federal election taking place in Australia this Saturday, 18 May, there is still time to back the $30 billion business events industry and the 193,000 jobs it supports each year.”
In alignment with the Business Events Council of Australia’s priorities, the AACB calls on the major political parties to:
1. Expand Tourism Australia’s bid fund program with additional new investment to $10 million per year;
2. Introduce visa reform – reducing the cost and complexity of visitor visas; and
3. Invest in more robust business events metrics.
Addressing these priorities will not only drive growth in the business events industry, but also in the industries that these meetings take place.
The AACB’s latest analysis of international business events secured for the future outlines that the top three industries represented include: Health Care and Social Assistance (29%), Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (17%), and Financial and Insurance Services (7%).
Further, with more than half of all international conventions won for Australia including an exhibition, the economy can leverage the trade and investment opportunities that these business events bring in addition to their tourism export benefits.