Leveraging on her hosting of Tourism Australia’s signature incentives showcase Dreamtime this week, Perth has unveiled its re-invented offering for the international incentives market.
The bi-annual event which kicked off on Monday welcomed 120 business event planners and media, with more than half from key markets across Asia including Greater China which represented the largest group.
Long regarded as an overly expensive destination by business events planners, Perth’s tourism team was keen to highlight significant developments in infrastructure and market readiness for the sector post its mining boom era, including a 60,000-seat stadium that can host a dinner on the grounds for 15,000 people and an upcoming airport link that will cut travel time to the CBD to 18 minutes.
“The incentive market for us has grown in the last few years to now be a third of what we do and the output for this state,” Perth Convention Bureau CEO Gareth Martin told TTGmice.
“We have been probably too quiet previously about what we can do and certainly what’s possible in our destination, and the wonderful products and services that are here, as well as the competitive advantage that we have in some industry sectors,” he continued.
Additionally, Perth has added 706 new hotel rooms in the last eight weeks alone and a 45 per cent increase in four- and five-star accommodation over the past three years.
“You can’t deny the hotel infrastructure has been absolutely tremendous but that gives business events planners choice,” Tourism Australia’s executive general manager events, Penny Lion, told TTGmice. “A group that might be watching their budget now has more choice about which hotels (to consider) because the frame rates here are very cost effective.”
Asia-Pacific currently represents 90 per cent of incentive event business for Perth, led by Malaysia, Singapore and China, with the latter growing at the fastest rate. But Martin suggests there is plenty of room for growth.
“We’ve had a specific focus on our new Asian neighbours in terms of attracting incentive events, and have seen significant growth in those markets,” said Martin. “But I think… we haven’t scratched the surface of what’s possible, and a showcase like this allows many agents to come to Western Australia, where maybe they haven’t. Many people have gone to the east coast on several trips, and we have had little focus in recent times so this is our opportunity.”
Delegate attendee Melvyn Nonis, director of MICE Matters in Singapore, indicated he was impressed with what he saw.
He said: “This was a destination that was tired. People have been to Perth before. And of course with the mining boom, MICE planners disregarded the place because of the (expensive) costs and availability of hotels.
“But right now the signals that we are getting from Australia is that there’s a renaissance with a lot of hotels coming online and the prices have dropped. So I’m convinced that it’s timely for us to introduce Perth to our incentive clients and bring them here. They would get the Aussie experience like the other cities but I think there’s a certain uniqueness in Perth.”
Martin added that the state is currently bidding to host significant international events and a showcase like Dreamtime significantly lifts its profile towards winning those bids. The last Dreamtime event in 2017 held in Brisbane generated business conversions worth A$50 million for the city. Delegates are currently continuing their Dreamtime experience with educational tours in cities across Australia.