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Nearly $21 billion spent by business events travellers in Australia in 2023

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Nearly $21 billion spent by business events travellers in Australia in 2023
The figures come as a new business events travel data dashboard is launched by Tourism Research Australia.

Throughout 2023, business events travellers spent $20.9 billion. Of this $2.6 billion was spent by international visitors attending business events in Australia and $1.4 billion was spent on domestic day trips to business events.

In all, the number of business events travellers in Australia in 2023 was 22,424,000, with 742,000 of those international visitors. The international figures show international business events visitation is at 71 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

Of the $20.9 billion spend, $10.4 billion was spent on food, drink and accommodation, $4.4 billion was spent on domestic airfares and $1.1 billion was spent on tours and entertainment.

After the federal government committed $2 million to facilitating better data capture for business events – making good on an election promise – a new business events travel data dashboard has been launched today on the Tourism Research Australia website.

Tourism Research Australia is also responsible for producing Australia’s broader visitation statistics including the National Visitor Survey and the International Visitor Survey.

The new dashboard captures some information on where business events are being held, with convention centres and hotels holding market shares of 27 per cent and 23 per cent respectively, although a greater portion – 29 per cent – of venues are classified as “other or unknown” in the data.

“We’ve long known that business events generate significant economic activity,” said Australia’s tourism and trade minister, Don Farrell.

“They facilitate the exchange of ideas and products, and create new networks that, in turn, stimulate trade and investment, attract talent, foster innovation and improve productivity.

“The development of this new business events data dashboard will better measure that contribution and help identify opportunities for the industry.”

Melissa Brown, CEO of the Australian Business Events Association (ABEA), said this kind of data was something the industry had been working towards.

“The new data will enable the industry to better articulate its value in driving long-term growth for the economy, as well as the role the thousands of suppliers, organisers, venues, bureaux and local communities play in supporting business events, creating jobs and empowering industry,” said Brown

“From a small business meeting in regional Australia through to international conventions hosting thousands in the cities, the collation of the right data to validate the value of the business events activity is critical to the success of the industry and the economy at large.”

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