Penny Lion, Executive General Manager Events at Tourism Australia
With the unprecedented bushfires in Australia this summer, alongside the many who have been directly impacted by the fires, it’s a difficult time for our tourism and business events industries.
At Business Events Australia, Tourism Australia’s specialist business events unit, we’re doing everything we can to support the local business events community right now and in the medium to longer term to ensure our industry continues to thrive.
To assist all visitors, Tourism Australia has been providing regularly updated bushfire information on its Australia.com website, indicating which regions are impacted by bushfires and which destinations are unaffected and open for business. The site also includes information on how visitors to Australia can help with bushfire recovery through maintaining and making plans to visit unaffected areas and supporting local businesses while in Australia.
From Business Events Australia’s perspective, while being sensitive to the impact of bushfires on many Australians, we continue to work closely with media and decision-makers in our four key international markets — New Zealand, the UK and Europe, the US and China — leveraging our relationships to ensure the message gets out that most of Australia is open for business.
And, while our primary remit will always be promoting Australia as a business events destination internationally, for the first time, we are running a domestic campaign. Aligning with Tourism Australia’s broader domestic tourism push, as part of the National Bushfire Recovery Fund effort, the business events campaign targets Australia’s business events industry and Australian businesses to encourage Australia to Event Here This Year.
With each business event having a significant economic impact on the region in which it’s held, the events industry has a huge opportunity to boost Australia’s economy as the nation recovers from bushfires.
We’re encouraging event decision-makers to hold their events in Australia rather than abroad and to choose local suppliers and Australian products where possible. And, if you can, consider how you might be able to spread your event spend to areas directly impacted by bushfires, through choosing a regional destination or sourcing produce or other supplies from affected regions.
Importantly, we’re calling on the industry to get involved in spreading the ‘Event here this year’ message. Go to Australia.com/businessevents/eventhere to download assets which you can share through your networks to show your support and encourage your organisation or clients to choose Australian destinations.
Now is the time to explore our own backyard and its extraordinary offerings for business events.