By Joyce DiMascio

The major players in the international business events market want the federal government to extend the JobKeeper assistance program to the end of 2021, at the very least.

Chairman of ID Australia Bill Wright said that businesses focused on securing and delivering international business events should be given special consideration for an extension beyond March for Job Keeper or its equivalent. He said those working on international business events had been hardest hit by the international border closures.

Mr Wright told micenet that major international inbound tour operators and PCOs were unable to deliver events because of ongoing international travel restrictions. Despite this, he said that Australia still needed to work on securing long-lead time pieces of business.

Negotiations with prospective international clients must continue as it takes many years to secure major international conference and incentives. On the one hand contracted events can’t go ahead. Yet, on the other hand, inbound tour operators and international PCOs must continue to pitch for events or Australia will miss out.

Last week, Bill Wright brought together companies including ID Australia, Arinex, MCI and The Conference Room as well as major hotel groups including ACCOR, IHG and Hyatt to discuss amassing evidence to help make the case for extending assistance to help keep staff employed beyond March 2021 when funding may end.

“The international business events sector has no alternative means of revenue and faces perilous consequences to survive and rebound effectively once the world returns to a COVID safe environment,” he said.

“Participants confirmed support for the major industry lobbyists, BECA and ATEC and will contribute data of the inbound landscape to demonstrate the value of the sector.

With global business unlikely to return prior to 2022, this sector is looking for solutions to preserve the skills, experience and resources to ensure immediate operations when overseas events and clients return.”