SHANGHAI To a group consisting mainly of Chinese corporate buyers, Eva Huang, regional director for Tourism Australia, extolled the many virtues of Australia as a business events destination.
The presentation was part of a lunch hosted by Business Events Australia at the Intercontinental Shanghai Pudong. Around 50 invited guests and media attended the event, many of whom were also international attendees of the IT&CM China show currently taking place in the city.
Huang said: "The maturity of Australia's meeting and incentives market is one of the primary reasons that the destination is so worthwhile. Digging deeper into the Australian infrastructure, business tourism is one of the main pillars for the country's economy. In fact, the Australian government recognises that tourism is as important to the country as energy and natural resources. The country's federal energy and resources minister, Gary Gray, is responsible for all three sectors.
"It's extremely positive for the industry that its significance is held at such an executive level. Business events not only bring foreign money into the country, but they also develop the local economy through employment. From the government's standpoint, that's important because it's vital that everyone in Australia has some kind of employment."
Hung explained that although New Zealand was currently Australia's number one inbound market, this was because many New Zealanders transfer through the country's major air hubs and onto other destinations. In terms of actual tourist spend, China currently holds the top spot and around 12 per cent of the revenue generated is from business tourism.
LC Tan, regional business events director for Tourism Australia, added: "Right now, the country is really pushing the Chinese market. With the new direct flights from Chengdu, we're already seeing a positive return from the launch of the Asian Marketing Fund (AMF) last year. The point we keep making is that there's really nowhere like Australia for business events and incentives.
Among such events showcased during the lunch was the use of the Sydney harbour bridge for a charity walk. Over 8,500 participants from all over the world took to the iconic crossing to raise money for good causes. Tan says: "It was the second time bridge has been closed for the event. It's just one of the many Australian incentive experiences that money just can't buy and a demonstration of why Australia is such an exceptional destination."
For more details, visit www.tourism.australia.com