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Business travel growing to cities beyond the Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane triangle

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Business travel growing to cities beyond the Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane triangle
Data from Flight Centre’s Corporate Traveller arm shows business travel to two other Australian cities is growing the fastest – and events may have a lot to do with it.

Booking and spend figures from Corporate Traveller – which services a client base of small and medium sized businesses – from June 2022 to July 2023 show that domestic travel to Perth has grown by 14 per cent while travel to Adelaide has grown by 11 per cent. Spending in Perth grew by eight per cent, while in Adelaide spending by travellers increased by seven per cent.

Meanwhile domestic travel to Melbourne has grown by eight per cent, travel to Sydney has grown by seven per cent and travel to Brisbane by just six per cent. Spending in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane grew by between one per cent and three per cent.

Corporate Traveller’s CEO Tom Walley believes both business and public events may have something to do with the uptick in travel to South and Western Australia.

“Both state governments have made an impressive commitment to hosting business events and conferences, drawing thousands of business travellers to the regions for networking, learning and development opportunities,” said Walley.

“For example, Western Australia will host AgriFutures Australia’s AGConference in 2024, which will bring more than 1,000 delegates across the agricultural industry to Perth in February. Likewise, South Australia hosted the World Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Education in September last year, which ran across five days and brought an estimated 2,300 delegates to the Adelaide Convention Centre.

“It’s not just business events that are drawing domestic travellers to these cities. The WA Government struck a deal for Perth to exclusively host Coldplay during their visit to Australia, which will see 60,000 fans flock to Optus Stadium, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a fare few business trips to Perth in November.”

Walley says the growth in corporate travel beyond the established favourites of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane is good for Australia.

“It’s an exciting time for these Australian cities, and if they continue to grow their presence in the business space it will be great news for the nation as a whole. To have five cities across the country that serve as thriving business hubs will not only grow our GDP, but the impact on small businesses and communities across Australia will be exponential.”

“Perth is well-placed geographically to be a genuine business hub with its ability to connect directly with London and elsewhere and Adelaide has been the sleeping giant for a while. This is becoming a particular favourite for SMEs that want to turn their travel into a bleisure trip by tacking on a visit to the world famous Barossa, for example.”

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