Thousands of jobs across the tourism and hospitality industry will be backed through a $50 million injection to help restart Australia’s vital business events sector.
Businesses will be encouraged to attend events, trade shows and conferences within Australia through grants to help cover the costs associated with exhibiting such as the hire of exhibition spaces, the design and manufacture of displays, travel and accommodation.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s lucrative $36 billion business events sector had virtually ground to a halt during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Getting business events up and running again will be a critical part of the recovery of our tourism industry, but will also have huge flow-on effects through the entire economy,” Prime Minister Morrison said.
“This is not only about supporting events companies and venues, but will also be a shot in the arm for a broad range of businesses and the people they employ - whether it’s accommodation providers, those who build exhibitions, caterers, cleaners or those offering audio-visual services.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the program would provide opportunities and encourage businesses from regional Australia to attend events in their own backyard.
“With many international trade shows out of reach for the time being, making it less expensive and easier for regional businesses to attend events in Australia will also present new opportunities to connect with and secure new customers,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“Business events encourage domestic travel and the more events we can lock in, the more people we can get flowing through our airports, on planes and staying in hotels around the country.”
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said the sector had been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic with around 95 per cent of business events for 2020 either cancelled or postponed.
“Our business events sector is doing it incredibly tough at present and getting events put back into the calendar will help this key part of our tourism industry which supports around 230 000 jobs turn the corner,” Minister Birmingham said.
“By incentivising attendance by exhibitors this should give event companies and organisers across Australia the confidence they need to move ahead with the planning of business events.”
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the investment would also make businesses more resilient.
“Many Australian businesses are looking to each other to strengthen their supply chains, to prevent the shocks they experienced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Andrews said.
“Connecting businesses through trade shows and conferences will help unlock widespread collaboration and boost domestic capability by creating and expanding local supply chains.”
Under the Business Events Exhibitor Grants program, Australian businesses exhibiting at an approved business meeting, convention, conference and incentives event in 2021 will be able to apply for upfront grants to cover up to 50 per cent of their costs ($10,000 - $250,000).
This initiative is part of the Morrison-McCormack Government’s $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, which is supporting regions, communities and industry sectors severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information, go to: Tourism and Business Grants.