Impact Publications : MiceBTN_63
Page 40 • MICEBTN - May-JULy 2016 wESTERN AUSTRALIA Tel: (08) 9492 7784 email@example.com www.ambassadorhotel.com.au www.goodearthhotel.com.au package Added promotional dollars will boost Western Australia’s tourism profile WESTERN Australia’s stalled tour- ism drive is expected to receive a much-needed boost with additional pro- motional dollars regardless of who wins the next federal and state elections. Recent visitor statistics show Western Australia is falling behind with tourist revenue (compared to other Australian states and territories). Both the major political parties, fed- eral and state have promised big dollars for destination, conference and events promotion in the lead up to the next federal election in July and the WA state election slated for March 2017. Despite some arguable claims by Perth Tourism about which sector generates the better returns on spend- ing - leisure or events - the big winner is expected to be the meetings, incentives, conferences and events sector collec- tively known as MICE. Perth Tourism manager Noeleen Pearson says leisure tourism should get more funding, not conventions, arguing that leisure tourism has the greater pro- file and is the larger drawcard. “More funding for the Perth Conven- tion Bureau is fantastic but we need more money for the leisure market... it’s bigger than conventions,” claimed Pearson. However, research by organisations such as Business Events Council of Aus- tralia and The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) supports investing in MICE as it offers longer- term community benefits after the initial spend by visitors. Western Australia needs the additional tourism funding to support new hotel openings and infrastructure builds. Ten new hotels are under construction and when completed will offer 1900 addi- tional rooms in Perth, joining additional tourism infrastructure such as Elizabeth Quay and the new Perth Stadium. The promised additional funding has of course been wel- comed by professional conference organisers. Alison Petrie, managing director of EECW in Nedlands said the initial announcement of reduced funding for the Perth Convention Bureau by the WA state liberal government was very disap- pointing and made the Mark McGowan (Labor leader in WA) announcement of increased funding under Labor (if elected) all the more welcome. “Com- petition is really tough going forward,” said Petrie. “The mining boom years are over. Remember PCOs by the very nature of the business work ahead often as much as several years. Sydney and Adelaide are very competitive right now. Sydney is launching its state-of-the-art conven- tion centre later this year and Adelaide has new facilities coming on line. The Melbourne Convention Centre recently confirmed a further expansion. We are also facing increased competition from Asia and New Zealand with new conven- tion centres under construction. Perth needs all the help it can get. We need to offer attractive rates.” Petrie also welcomed the additional room inventory being added in Perth, saying it made it easier to access room blocks at competitive rates, especially in the wake of the Airbnb phenomenon. “We were not generally prepared for the increased competition from Airbnb. If we can get a lot of rooms at reasona- ble rates for delegates it will help PCOs better compete with Airbnb. Most del- egates attending conferences say they would rather stay at the conference ho- tel or nearby for convenience, provided room rates are reasonable.” Perth Convention Bureau was contact- ed for comment but did not respond.