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December 15, 2014
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Australia Closes Year on G20 High as Incentives Return




As the end of term approaches 2014, Denise von Wald, regional general manager for the UK and Northern Europe at Tourism Australia, reflected on the success of the G20 meeting in Brisbane where the free trade agreement with China was signed immediately prior to the recent EIBTM conference in Barcelona, Spain late last month.

"It was more than two years [of] meticulous planning, as you can imagine," von Wald told IMR's James Latham at the trade show. "The free trade agreement signed between Australia and China during the G20 was very valuable." The value of the agreement, Latham noted, is an estimated $18 billion per year. 

Australia, always a benchmark for the health of the long-haul incentive market, is experiencing a dramatic bounce back in visits from its core markets of the US, UK, Germany, Italy, France, the Middle East and China as the "War for Talent" in priority sectors such as automotive and IT heats up.

RELATED: Australia Launches Federal Framework to Attract International Events

Incentives, von Wald continued, are back in a big way. "We started to see them pick up last year. We had some really good business come through [from] Gartner and BMW—a very prestegious brand." Beyond that, 20,000 international Rotarians attended the 2014 summit in Sydney.  

In terms of value for money, von Wald also pointed to the growth in carriers and routes, especially from the Middle East, that have reduced the cost of business class travel with return flights as low as £3,000 from Heathrow to Sydney.

Denise Von Wald from International Meetings Review on Vimeo.

But most encouraging for Australia has been the support of Federal Government and Austrade as the country coordinates its bids for events both internationally and regionally in support of state investments in meetings infrastructure, most notably in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Von Wald also pointed to the consistency of the Australian experience for business travelers, quoting comments from a large travel agent delivering thousands of visitors annually. “In 20 years, no one has ever asked for their money back; no one has ever said they didn't get value for money,” she said.
 
As the sun sets on 2014, it seems that Australia will awake to a promising New Year in the business events sector.


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About the Author: Jena Tesse Fox

Jena Tesse Fox

About the Author: James Latham

James Latham


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