May 18, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

The Western Australia state budget handed down last week includes $31 million to attract additional major and business events, including a $20 million Major Events Fund over four years, which will support both public and business events.

The latest funding is in addition to $15 million allocated to attracting international business events to the state as part of the Reconnect WA package announced in December.

Western Australia’s Tourism Minister Roger Cook acknowledged the importance of events as a platform for economic diversification, as well as for tourism.

“Business events bring business travellers to the State, promoting our diverse priority sectors and generating direct economic return for local businesses,” he said.

“A revived program of business events will help to create an economic legacy beyond the value of initial tourism expenditure – helping us build towards a bigger, better Western Australia.

“We have been spruiking the message around Australia and to the rest of the world that WA is open for business and open for tourism.

“This is the next stage in turbo-charging WA’s economic transition after the successful management of COVID-19 for more than two years.”

Business Events Perth chair Bradley Woods welcomed the new funding.

“The impact of COVID-19 on the business events industry has resulted in a massive hit, in terms of real losses and future business confidence, so this funding boost is well timed as we continue our efforts to secure lucrative business events to re-energise and rebuild the many venues and small businesses who are still struggling two years into this pandemic,” he said.