A carbon offset programme for business events and online hubs designed to make sustainable and accessible travel easy to access, and updates to Cairns Convention Centre were among the updates provided by Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef at AIME 2023.
Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef’s general manager Rosie Douglas said the new partnership with Reforest will assist event planners in calculating their event’s high-level carbon footprint and offset it through a localised tree planting and revegetation program in endangered Mabi rainforest on the Atherton Tablelands.
Other offset options include making a partial contribution, or offering delegates an opportunity to contribute to the programme toward the event.
Earlier this month, Tourism Tropical North Queensland also launched a Sustainable Travel Hub that showcased interactive conservation projects, immersive cultural experiences and eco-certified operators such as the Quicksilver Group and Pullman Reef Hotel Casino. This will help event planners and delegates understand the value the region places on the environment and community.
Douglas added: “To celebrate 2023 being named the Year of Accessible Tourism in Queensland we have also launched an accessibility widget so the destination website can be viewed in various modes including ADHD-friendly with reduced distractions and blindness mode that is compatible with a screen reader.”
Janet Hamilton, general manager of Cairns Convention Centre, also in attendance at AIME, was eager to provide updates on the venue’s 10,500m2 expansion. Costing A$176 million (US$121 million), a full reopening has been scheduled for May 2023.
“Our first event in the new expansion will be the Queensland Legislative Assembly, meeting for the sixth regional sitting of the Queensland Parliament, May 9-11,” Hamilton said.
The Cairns Convention Centre expansion includes a large undercover, tropically planted forecourt, and an expanded main entry lobby on the entry levels. The Mezzanine level will have a 410-seat plenary lecture space that can be divided into two spaces, three 110-seat meeting rooms, and exhibition space for up to 30 display booths. The brand-new third level includes a 500-seat banquet room with a large adjoining pre-function space and an external terrace with views over Trinity Inlet.