May 23, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio | Image credit: Tourism Australia

Spread across three halls of ICC Sydney, Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) was held in Sydney last week, for the second year running, with a big message to the world that delivering events in an environmentally responsible manner matters in Australia.

Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison told the industry that ATE 2022 was a carbon neutral event.

“Our flagship tourism trade event is an ideal forum to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability, something which has been an important factor for consumers as they consider their next holiday,” she said.

“Being sustainable is no longer nice to do, it’s a necessary element of good business.”

According to Tourism Australia, 1,200 tonnes of carbon were offset through programs that focus on regeneration.

The 42nd edition of ATE was delivered in partnership with Destination NSW. The face-to-face event attracted 500 buyers from 34 countries and 550 Australian sellers with 38,000 appointments conducted on the show floor.

Over recent years, the design of the event has changed – again this year, buyers were seated at the modest desk-like stands and sellers moved around the floor. This reduced the need for elaborate stands and reduced the amount of waste. Stands were made of recyclable materials.

State tourism organisations sponsored the café areas on the trade floor.

This is the second year ATE has been held as a hybrid event, with ATE Online to follow ATE Live this week, from May 24 to 26, to connect those unable to travel to Australia.

Harrison acknowledged the difficulties of the past two years for the industry.

“Whilst we hope that the worst is behind us, there’s still no doubt that there’s going to be some more challenges ahead.

“And at Tourism Australia we are committed to working with all of you to promote Australia’s world class tourism offering and we will be driving tourism demand back Down Under and asking them to come and say ‘G’day’.”

ATE participants were entertained at networking events in a range of locations around the city including

Bennelong restaurant at the Opera House, CIRQ at Crown Sydney, Barangaroo Reserve, new super cruiser The Jackson, Watersedge at Campbell’s Stores in Campbell’s Cove in the Rocks, Luna Park on the northern edge of Sydney Harbour and Sofitel’s Champagne Bar at Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.

With safety in mind hand sanitiser was widely available throughout the venue at ICC Sydney.

Tourism Australia also provided coloured wrist bands which provided people the opportunity to easily show how comfortable they were with contact, such as handshakes.

“Green bands indicate someone is comfortable, orange indicate someone is still being cautious and red indicates someone would prefer others to keep their distance,” a Tourism Australia spokesperson said. 

ATE 2023 will be held on the Gold Coast from April 30 to May 4, 2023, in a partnership between Destination Gold Coast, Tourism Australia, Tourism and Events Queensland and the City of Gold Coast.

Image credit: Tourism Australia