Findings from the Consumer Demand Project research will help inform Tourism Australia’s international business events strategy and activity.
Tourism Australia has released new research on the sentiments of association and incentive decision-makers, and they are optimistic about the industry’s future.
The Business Events Consumer Demand Project (CDP), which indicates that despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, surveyed 163 decision-makers from the association sector and 354 from the incentive sector in 11 of Australia’s key markets to better understand the perception of Australia as a business events destination.
While Australia is still considered a highly desirable destination, the main barriers to holding a business event in Australia remain distance, time and costs. An effective rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine was also the primary driver to event resumption for association decision-makers.
The research suggests that organisations are ready to do an event of significance once travel is unrestricted and events can freely take place, indicating that several organisations will have the funds to do so from not running face-to-face events for some time.
Despite the challenges faced by the global business events sector, the research also shows that the number of incentive travel and association events held post-pandemic will be the same or greater, and the available budget will increase.
Overall, the research found that Australia continues to appeal as an incentive destination, with 69 per cent of incentive decision-makers saying they are likely to visit Australia in the next two years – rising to 82 per cent in the next three years. On the other hand, 79 per cent of association decision-makers say they are likely to visit Australia for an event in the next two years.
The latest research will help guide Tourism Australia’s strategy in preparation for the return of international business events. In the meantime, Tourism Australia says it will continue to provide support to industry through ongoing initiatives and programmes, like the Business Events Boost Program to support domestic business events while international events are on hold.
Robin Mack, Executive General Manager, Commercial & Business Events Australia, shares: “By understanding what influences decision-makers when choosing a destination for business events, we can deliver strategies that capitalise on these factors and ultimately help secure more business for Australia once international travel resumes. This research is one of several projects that Business Events Australia is delivering to help support recovery as the industry navigates the ongoing challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic.