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Mice Net : February 2009
news BE strategy a punch Strategy for Australia 2020, created by some of this country’s leading practitioners and presented to the Federal Minister for Tourism and Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, in late 2008, gave 52 recommendations in all - certainly a lot for the Minister to mull over during his Christmas downtime. Those who put it together, The Business Events Industry Strategy Group, spearheaded by chairman of the Business Events Council of Australia, Geoff Donaghy, and executive director of that organisation, Elizabeth Rich, were hopeful of an announcement in the short term. But at the time of going to press the Minister simply acknowledged the report. In a statement he said the Australian Government acknowledges the value and importance of business events to Australia. “Business events are a growing and high-yield tourism sector which Australia needs to more vigorously pursue,” Mr Ferguson said. He said the strategy “will make an important contribution to the Australian Government’s development of a National Long-Term Tourism Strategy, particularly given a number of constraints identified by the business events sector are shared by the wider tourism industry.” In his letter to the Minister accompanying the report, Mr Donaghy says the document was produced following extensive industry discussion and consultation, and with the support and endorsement of tourism organisations including the TTF (Tourism and Transport Forum), the Australian Hotels Association, the Australian Tourism Export Council, Tourism Australia, and Tourism Research Australia. The report’s aim is to draft a strategy “that would support the development of an internationally competitive industry and maximise its contribution to the Australian economy”. “The industry’s stakeholders consider a national framework and a strategic industry/government team approach to be essential if the BE (business events) sector is to maximise its economic contribution. No such framework or comprehensive joint national strategy currently exists,” the report says. The report’s authors argue that Australia “has faced massive growth in global competition for international business events of packs W story by brad foster The indusTry is waiTing with baited breath for a response to its comprehensive plan. hen the Federal Minister for Tourism asks you what should be done in the Australian business events industry you don’t do it by halves. The National Business Events the past decade, particularly from Asian neighbours and the rapidly expanding Middle East region. As such competition comes online backed by new five-star product, our long-haul destination can no longer take its share for granted. Australian industry stakeholders must work as a united team to ensure future success, playing to the country’s unique advantages and concentrating on niches most likely to deliver business.” As mentioned, there are 52 recommendations made in the report – too many to list below. Mice.net has included a sample here. For further details and to read the complete report visit www. businesseventscouncil.org.au. Funding and Tourism Australia (There are three recommendations in total) • That increased funding be provided to TA (Tourism Australia) so it can boost its BE activity in the key areas of bid support, convention delegate boosting, marketing, and research, as outlined in this strategy. • That TA increase its efforts to improve the effectiveness of its BE Industry Advisory Panel, to ensure an effective conduit exists between the industry and the TA Board. Aviation (There are eight recommendations in total) Airline capacity • That air services negotiations be targeted at key BE growth markets. • That Australia actively pursues both bilateral ‘open skies’ air services arrangements with key individual nations and multilateral ‘open skies’ arrangements. • That air service arrangements with other Governments be facilitated to permit short-term addition of capacity by airlines of both countries for large events. Passenger Facilitation • That the Express Path trial be made permanent and extended to all Australian international gateway airports. ABOVE: Chairman of the Business Events Council of Australia, Geoff Donaghy, says the aim of the report presented to the Minister for Tourism is to assist the government in drafting a strategy that will support the development of an internationally competitive industry and maximise its contribution to the Australian economy. mice.net 31