The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) launched a campaign in Canberra calling for MPs to support policy and funding of the industry through Tourism Australia. The purpose of the campaign was to get MPs to understand the industry’s power, scope, and potential.
“The industry delivered a strong and united message about the importance of the business events sector as a key driver of the Australian economy,” said Matt Hingerty, chairman of BECA. “Our delegation was well received as we delivered clear evidence to substantiate the merits of backing business events in order to deliver real benefits to cities as well as regional Australia.”
The policy called by the council included six strategies:
- An extension of the Bid Fund Program (BFP), and partnership programs managed by Business Events Australia. BECA calls for increased funding of $10M or $40M within four years.
- Funding for research managed by the business events community and Tourism Research Australia in order to benchmark the industry, and quantify the sector’s size, impact and worth.
- A national infrastructure- mapping study to identify the gaps and priorities for business events infrastructure in metro and regional areas.
- Support to work more closely with VET and higher education sector to design courses that match the industry’s needs now and in the future.
- Temporary skilled labour visa reform to enable the industry to more easily respond to fluctuating demands with a more flexible temporary visa system.
- Growth Industries Business Events Team to link our outcomes with those associated with the Industry Growth Centre Initiatives.
“Whilst Australia had a strong reputation hosting business events, our international competitiveness is being compromised by markets in Asia, and we need to act now to curb the impact,” said Hingerty. "Business events stimulate the visitor economy, their impact is more far-reaching than just tourism.”