Business event fund delivers multi-million-dollar boost to economy

The Australian government’s Bid Fund Program is helping boost Australia’s business events industry by attracting international events to the country.

The program is estimated to have already delivered a $187m boost to the Australian economy, with more project in the pipeline.

Minster for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the $12m program, launched in 2018, has helped ensure that Australia maintains a competitive edge against other international destinations by offering financial support to new international business events.

“Every dollar invested in securing events through the fund has generated an additional $19 for our country’s economy.

“Business events are extremely valuable to our economy, with the average business events visitor spending at least twice as much as a leisure visitor.

“In what is an increasingly crowded international marketplace, the fund provides Australia with an important competitive advantage when bidding to secure high-value international business events,” said Birmingham.

“But the success of the fund is not only the result of the government’s ongoing support, but of the hard work of the industry in securing these important events for Australia.

“Business events are one of the most significant sectors of our tourism industry, with spending by international business events visitors climbing 16 per cent to $4.9 billion in the last 12 months.

“Importantly, the impact of these events on the visitor economy is far reaching, with business events visitors more likely to extend their visit to regional parts of Australia and return for a holiday in the future,” he said.

So far, the program has helped convert fourteen business events. Those publicly announced include:

  • UITP 2021 Global Public Transport Summit, Melbourne ($4.6m in economic value)
  • 2019 SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit, Gold Coast ($6.7m in economic value)
  • 145th IATA Slot Conference, Brisbane 2019 ($3.2m in economic value)
  • 13th Congress of International Plant Molecular Biology 2021, Cairns ($4.2m in economic value)
  • Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting 2021, Brisbane ($2m in economic value)
  • IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence SSCI 2020, Canberra ($2.2m)

Nearly 80 applications have been received since the program commenced in July 2018, with fourteen events having been successfully secured for Australia.

The funds specifically go towards the on-the-ground delivery of the event in Australia and submissions are assessed against criteria to ensure they deliver a significant impact on the industry and economy.