Australia’s MICE sector set to benefit from FIFA win

The announcement of the win was marked by the sails of the Sydney Opera House turning green and gold and displaying images of the national team, The Matildas

Australia and New Zealand were recently named the hosts of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, which bodes well for the former’s business events sector based on track record.

Following the success of other major sporting events including T20 Women’s World Cup, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2018 Invictus Games and Sydney 2000 Olympics, Australia’s business events sector is set to gain even more recognition given the likely legacy from the FIFA tournament.

The win was marked by the sails of the Sydney Opera House turning green and gold and displaying images of the national team, The Matildas

“Major sporting events not only shine a light on Australia’s infrastructure, venues and incentives experiences globally, they often create a lasting legacy for business events,” said Penny Lion, executive general manager events at Tourism Australia.

The bid evaluation report, published by FIFA, outlines Australia’s strengths in infrastructure, safety, sustainable event management and high standard of accommodation in each host city including ‘top tier hotels’ to host FIFA officials. The report also talks about Australia’s advanced technology and connectivity for international broadcasting.

Marking the first time a FIFA World Cup has been played in the Southern Hemisphere, matches will take place in Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Launceston in Tasmania, in addition to five New Zealand cities.

The bid summary described travel distances between host cities as not a major challenge as proven by Australia and New Zealand’s history of co-hosting significant major tournaments and events.

In addition to shining the global spotlight on Australia’s incentive experiences, stadiums, high-end accommodation and event delivery capabilities, major events have historically resulted in new and upgraded infrastructure for business events.

For instance, Queensland’s Gold Coast reported a significant increase in incentives to the region following the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Multiple sport and leisure centres were developed specifically for The Games and CBUS Super Stadium received a A$160 million (US$115 million) upgrade. A new ‘super stage’ at Village Roadshow Studios that was created to host squash, boxing and table tennis is now an events space for up to 4,000 guests. Meanwhile, the official accommodation partner to the Commonwealth Games, The Star Gold Coast, underwent an extensive refurbishment of its 600-room hotel The Star Grand in preparation.

Also in 2018, Sydney hosted the Invictus Games, which shone a global light on Sydney’s event spaces such as Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour where groups can find a range of venues and hosting opportunities. During the event, Sydney Olympic Park played a key role in the event and is also home to 11 separate business event venues with capacities ranging from 10 to 21,000 delegates.

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