December 2, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

The Western Australian Government has pledged $15 million to help bring international business events to Perth in a new $185 million Reconnect WA recovery package, which also includes $9 million to attract international events to the state.

WA Premier Mark McGowan made the announcement yesterday at Crown Perth, ahead of the state’s projected reopening of its interstate and international border early in 2022.

“Our Reconnect WA package aims to leverage what we have achieved in managing the pandemic by offering a safe and vibrant place to visit, work or invest in,” said McGowan.

Business Events Perth will manage the funding with details of how it will be used yet to come.

“In 2019, Business Events Perth generated $153 million in confirmed business events with $5.3 million in funding, which is an ROI of 1:29, so we expect that this new funding from the WA State Government will generate significant economic returns for Western Australia and also support Perth’s CBD hotels which have borne the brunt of the pandemic,” said Business Events Perth Chair Bradley Woods.

Woods said business events visitors contribute strongly to the state’s visitor economy, spending up to five times as much as leisure visitors.

“The recovery of WA’s visitor economy will have a flow on effect to a broader range of businesses; while visiting WA, delegates will stay at local hotels, dine at local restaurants, book local tours and shop at local retail outlets.”

Highlighting the work the bureau had done over the last 15 months, supporting 350 local business events, Business Events Perth CEO Gareth Martin said the new funding would help the destination compete internationally.

“In the face of an increasingly competitive national and international market, this much needed boost in funding will drive a significant return on investment for WA and support local jobs in one of the most affected sectors,” he said.

“Thanks to the new Reconnect WA funding from the State Government, Western Australia will be able to attract more conferences and more delegates, supporting the recovery of our visitor economy and helping our State become an even more internationally competitive and globally recognisable destination.”