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Australia banks on Asian events recovery

16 Mar 2010

After a 20 percent drop in business events coming to its shores in 2009, Australia is looking to Asia’s resilient economies to bring in more business meetings and corporate incentives.

Speaking on behalf of Tourism Australia at the annual Team Australia Business Events Educational (TABEE) in Beijing, Richard Beere, executive general manager international, (East) stressed that Asian pharmaceutical, banking, insurance and direct selling companies were the main focus of attention.

Using the tagline, “Take your thinking to a whole new place”, TABEE brings together Australian events specialists with corporate buyers from around the region.

“Generally our events are held within Asia, but we are considering Australia,” said Geraldine Ng, training executive with McDonald’s Restaurants Singapore and attending her first TABEE.

“We have more than 100 outlets in Singapore and training is a critical part of our business,” she said.

Tourism Australia’s regional general manager, North Asia, Johnny Nee observed: “One of the biggest challenges is educating the Asian market that corporate incentives are not simply ‘company-paid trips’ but involve a whole range of motivational techniques to drive sales.”

Maggie White, Nee’s South Asia counterpart, pointed out that continued growth from mainland China was also being supplemented by substantial growth in meetings and incentives and visits from markets such as India, Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia. She also noted that there were a number of new trends driving the growth of corporate events business into Australia. These included the greater use of low-cost carriers at one end of the spectrum and the emergence of high-end cruise incentives for Asian corporates at the other.

TABEE 2010 is being attended by 71 of Asia’s top corporate meetings and incentives buyers and specialist travel agents. The event is being held at the Westin Beijing Chaoyang hotel.

For more details, visit businessevents.australia.com

Kenny Coyle

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