The government is urging local event planners to hold their major events and conferences in Australia this year to support Australia’s tourism industry in the wake of the tragic bushfire season.
After news of the fires made international headlines—which some critics claim exaggerated the impact of the disaster—many tourism businesses saw a significant reduction in bookings.
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said Tourism Australia’s Event Here This Year campaign is aimed at encouraging organisations to provide a much-needed boost to the local tourism industry by choosing Australia as the destination for their business events.
“Business events are one of the most crucial sectors of our tourism industry delivering huge economic benefits to communities around Australia,” Minister Birmingham said.
“However, the sector has taken a hit in recent months with increases in cancelled events as well as a reduction in international event bookings, even in regions that haven’t been affected by the recent bushfires.”
According to Minister Birmingham, the campaign encourages event planners to research what options are available in the regions, as many fire-affection regions are still open for business.“This campaign is a call to all of those Australian businesses and organisations out there who are yet to book in meetings, their annual conference or exhibitions, to rally behind our tourism industry and choose Australia for their event this year.”
“This is a huge opportunity for Aussie businesses to support communities across Australia, whether it is those in fire-affected regions or other communities across Australia who are also feeling the pain from less visitors.”
The Event Here This Year campaign will run alongside Tourism Australia’s Holiday Here This Year campaign, which encourages local and international tourists to book their next escape in Australia.
Both campaigns are supported by the Morrison Government’s $76 million National Bushfire Recovery Fund.
AACB urges businesses to host events in Australia this year
The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) has mirrored the government’s statements, with a statement urging businesses to host events in Australia this year.
“The AACB commend the Australian Government on its prompt recovery response to the recent bushfires in some parts of Australia. Through its initial $76 million Tourism Recovery Fund, the Government will address the global misinformation and perceptions about the bushfires in Australia and stimulate travel to and within the country,” the statement reads.
“Not many business events destinations across Australia were directly impacted by the bushfires, however some regional destinations are still feeling the impacts of other recent natural disasters,” AACB CEO, Andrew Hiebl said.
“We look forward to working with the Australian Government and Tourism Australia on any future business events initiatives to further stimulate the industry and jobs.”