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April 16, 2008

Business tourism on the agenda in Melbourne this week

Business tourism and the expected growth of business events in Australia and the region will be the key focus for more than 6,000 people when they gather in Melbourne this week for AIME 2008, the Asia Pacific's largest event.

The 16th Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo is being held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from 19-20 February. Event director, Rosemarie Sama said that the combined exhibition, forums, master classes and networking events provide a platform for discussion and debate on the future of the industry and the challenges ahead.

"AIME is the most important event on the industry calendar and the launch pad for many new developments and industry initiatives,” she explained. “The event includes 850 exhibitors from 50 countries, a local audience of around 2,300 people, plus 480 of the world's most important buyers of business events and incentives, who are hosted from Australia and 27 other countries."

Despite economic uncertainty in some parts of the world and a decline in business confidence in Australia, many countries exhibiting at the event have taken larger stands.

"If there is any uncertainty in the economic future of the business events industry, we are not seeing it at AIME 2008,” said Sama. “Countries such as Dubai, Canada, Tahiti, Hawaii, the Philippines, Singapore, Korea, Brunei, Macau and China have taken larger spaces and Australia exhibitors representing Sydney, Brisbane, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have all expanded their displays.”

Tourism Australia is also actively involved and will launch its Business Events Australia brand for the country on Tuesday at 5pm.

For more information, visit www.aime.com.au

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