PENNY Lion, Executive General Manager Events at Tourism Australia


It’s been both exciting and rewarding to celebrate some significant association event wins for Australia recently that will inject millions into the economy.

Those wins, often many years in the making, are hard fought and I take my hat off to our diligent industry colleagues for convincing the world why there’s nothing like Australia for business events.

Over the past year Business Events Australia has stepped up its support to convert new business in an increasing competitive international market.

Our $12 million Business Events Bid Fund, which opened in May last year, helps secure events by offering financial support at the crucial stage when we are in direct competition with other countries.

It’s been just over a year and already we’ve received 85 event applications which has resulted in 20 wins for Australia with an economic value of $252 million.

So far one event supported by the fund has already taken place, the SportAccord Summit 2019 on the Gold Coast in May with more than 1,700 delegates. Not only was the event itself a great success but having key sporting figures Down Under, including International Olympic Committee members, has helped raise the country’s profile on the world stage for future sporting events including the exciting prospect of a 2032 Olympics bid for South-East Queensland (fingers and toes crossed).

There’s more to come too, including one of Australia’s biggest wins, the Rotary International Convention that will be held in Melbourne in 2023 and expected to attract more than 10,000 international delegates.

For large association events like these we’re also supporting delegate boosting activity through our Advance Program which assists marketing activities that will increase attendance at confirmed international events Down Under.

In the last financial year, we supported 10 partners to deliver a variety of promotional activities and we’re currently reviewing applications for the year ahead to help destinations, events and products to encourage more people to attend.

We’re also very fortunate to have such a supportive Minister, the Hon. Simon Birmingham, who understands the business events sector supports local businesses, creates jobs and will ultimately enhance Australia’s reputation internationally as a must-visit destination.


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