The Western Australian (WA) government has unveiled a new Reconnect WA funding package worth A$185 million (US$132 million), targeted at attracting tourists, skilled workers, international students and events.
Out of the A$185 million, the Stateâ€™s official convention bureau, Business Events Perth, will receive A$15 million to attract business events to the state to support its business events, hotel, and hospitality industry.
As well as the funding for Business Events Perth, the package includes a A$65 million aviation fund directed towards re-establishing international and interstate flight routes that were disrupted by the pandemic, as well as targeting new routes including Germany, India, China and Vietnam.
Business Events Perth chair Bradley Woods said the funding would act as a direct and significant boost to WAâ€™s tourism industry and praised the State Government for recognising the importance of the business events sector.
â€œIn 2019, Business Events Perth generated A$153 million in confirmed business events with A$5.3 million in funding, which is an ROI of 1:29, so we expect that this new funding from the WA State Government will generate significant economic returns for Western Australia and also support Perthâ€™s CBD hotels which have borne the brunt of the pandemic.
â€œWith business event delegates spending up to five times more than their leisure counterparts and almost two-thirds of delegates choosing to attend a conference in order to extend their trip to take a holiday, the business events sector has a vital role to play in the ongoing recovery of Western Australiaâ€™s overall tourism industry,” Woods elaborated.
Business Events Perth CEO Gareth Martin added that the funding boost would underpin a strong recovery for the business events sector in Western Australia that would have a flow-on effect for a broad range of businesses and the Stateâ€™s visitor economy as a whole.
â€œThrough the funding of the State Government over the last 15 months, Business Events Perth Perth has directly supported over 350 local events while securing a pipeline of national and international business events for future years.
â€œIn the face of an increasingly competitive national and international market, this much-needed boost in funding will drive a significant return on investment for WA and support local jobs in one of the most affected sectors,” said Martin.
Full details of the package will be released shortly.