Research conducted on behalf of Tourism Australia has revealed some key insights into perceptions of Australia and what drives planners to hold business events here.

Conducted by BDA Marketing Planning for Tourism Australia, the research provides specific findings into the perception of Australia for business events. It involved interviews with 550 senior corporate decision makers in 10 markets: New Zealand, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, United Kingdom, North America, Greater China and Japan.

Tourism Australia acting managing director, Frances-Anne Keeler, said Australia rates very highly in all 10 markets, due largely to competitive advantages such as its natural environment, high quality venues and a proven track record in hosting exceptional business events.

“Australia is investing more than ever in its business events and incentive offerings, with a robust strategy and an extended global trade and marketing program,” Ms Keeler said.

“We are listening to key decision makers, and identifying opportunities to build on our already solid reputation for providing excellence.

Key Findings

The research determined that Australia rates extremely strongly from a BE perspective in all 10 key markets, and for those who have visited, Australia delivered strongly.

Factors most important when selecting a BE destination were identified as safety and security, excellent business event facilities, a range of quality accommodation, travel costs associated with the destination, and good food, wine, local cuisine and produce. (Safety topped the list in half the markets).

Australia’s strong appeal was highest in Indonesia, China and India, with the intention to hold a business event in Australia easily strongest in India. The UK had the lowest intention followed by South Korea.

Australia rated #2 (27 per cent) for consideration as a business event destination in the next four years by survey respondents, with USA #1 (31 per cent). Further, Australia rated #2 (21 per cent) by respondents who were `actively planning’ a business event in the next two years, with USA #1 (22 per cent).

Areas or settings decision makers would most likely hold a business event in Australia were evenly split between cities and coastal/beachside settings, significantly ahead of alpine, wine regions, and outback settings.

Sydney and then Melbourne were the top Australian destinations being considered for holding a future business event, followed by the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra. Kangaroo Island rated very highly at 15 per cent (just behind Canberra).

Over half of survey respondents use a business event agent for organising overseas business events, with the highest percentage in Asian markets ( Indonesia, China, India, Korea and Malaysia), and the lowest use in the UK and USA. Sixty-three per cent of those travelling to Australia use an agent compared to 53 per cent to other overseas destinations.

Food and wine

Food and wine remains an important factor in business event destination selection. Research conducted by Tourism Australia in the leisure market has found that the perception of Australia’s food and wine offering are mixed across markets, although response is very high amongst those who have visited (53 per cent) and sampled, presenting significant future international marketing opportunities.

Obstacles and challenges

While Australia remains an aspirational destination with perception rating very highly, the number one barrier to holding a business event in Australia is distance and associated costs.

Distance and cost aside, the study found that there was a knowledge gap with the corporate respondents about the specific business events offering in Australia.

Further research will be conducted amongst agents to identify opportunities for closing the knowledge gap and between the intermediary and corporate end user.

Full details of the report can be seen by visiting www.australia.com/docs/business-events/BE_CDP_research_summary.pdf

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