The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) welcomed yesterday’s announcement by the Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, and thanked Tourism Australia for its continued commitment to the Business Events industry with the extension of the Bid Fund Program by $3m for an additional 12 months through 2021/22. The Bid Fund Program is designed to increase the conversion of bids for new international business events by offering financial support at the critical bidding stage.
BECA notes the valuable contribution this extension makes towards the long-term attraction of business events to Australia. We will continue to engage with Government to encourage a permanent and boosted multi-year package in addition to Tourism Australia’s annual appropriation, to give convention bureaux, convention centres, event organisers and their clients much needed certainty as global competitiveness for business events increases.
While the long-term prospects for the industry are improving, the short-term needs and challenges being faced by the business events sector continue to be critical. With the Business Events Grant Program focused on supporting those who were attending business events already booked rather than de-risking the environment so more business event owners could plan, book and hold more events, the industry is in dire need of bridging support that will sustain businesses up and down the business events supply chain, event professionals and valuable expertise until business returns to a more robust level across the nation.
BECA continues to advocate for short-term recovery initiatives including:
– Catalyst funding directed to event owners and/or a Government underwritten facility that mitigates against COVID-19 risks in the absence of event insurance.
– A temporary Fringe Benefits Tax Exemption for Australian businesses undertaking corporate travel incentive programs.
– An Education & Training Tax Incentive for businesses to train staff, with increased tax deductibility, to stimulate the domestic business events market.
Dr Vanessa Findlay, Chair of BECA, commented:
“Tourism Australia’s continued commitment to the recovery of the business events sector both in the short and long-term is greatly valued. The very nature of business events and the time that is required to plan, market, implement and deliver events, means the approach to the industry’s recovery needs to be handled differently to other sectors or industries. Given the operating environment the industry is working in, without immediate support from the Government, we are now at serious risk of losing valuable organisations and event professionals.
“BECA has presented short-term initiatives for the Government’s consideration to assist in the forthcoming critical 6-12 month period as well as look at more long term rebound strategies. It is vital this industry be sustained to ensure it can once again deliver on the significant economic and social contribution business events make to our country.”