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Canberra Convention Bureau Welcomes Funding Boost

The Canberra Convention Bureau has welcomed increased funding from the ACT Government in the 2012/13 budget.

The additional $90,000 in funding over 2012/13 and 2013/14 will boost the Canberra Convention Bureau’s capacity to attract business events to Canberra and the region.

Of this $20,000 has been ear marked to capitalise on the G20 in 2014. The Bureau will be using the recourses of its Research and Learning Institutes Group* (RALIG) to identify topics of global importance in which Canberra has world-class expertise and knowledge. These topics will be proposed as the focus for potential G20 build-up events.

This modest funding increase is in addition to the increase in funding in 2011-2012 which will continue to enable the Bureau to draw more events to Canberra, offer more assistance to event organisers and, in doing so attract a larger share of the growing business event market.

The Bureau uses its extensive knowledge of Canberra and the region to assist national and international event organisers plan and manage business events in Canberra. The Bureau’s large network of local businesses, suppliers and institutions, allows it to package events to meet the event requirements of any organisation and its delegates.

Business events are an important part of the ACT economy with business visitors spending more per day than leisure travellers. Furthermore, despite international leisure tourism figures remaining flat nationally, international business event visitors increased from 12 million to 14 million nights in 2011. International business expenditure rose by 14 per cent and international business event numbers rose by 8 per cent during the same year.

However, CEO of the Bureau, Robyn Hendry, said that business events make a significant contribution to Canberra beyond the events themselves.

“Business events in the ACT bring about $1billion to the local economy annually. However, the value of business events is more than just the dollars that delegates spend,” Hendry said. “There is a significant legacy left by business events including network building and the sharing of ideas which contribute to Canberra’s knowledge economy. They also offer an opportunity to showcase Canberra which encourages conference delegates to spread a positive message about the city, as well as enticing them to return either again for business or as tourists.”

Canberra Branding

In addition to the funding increase for the Bureau, the ACT budget has allocated $2.6million for branding the ACT as a great place to do business. Replacing the “See Yourself in Canberra” campaign, the new marketing strategy will encourage growth and diversity in the capital, supporting the ACT Government’s business development strategy.

Hendry strongly supports this move and believes the new campaign will link well with the Bureau’s position, promoting Canberra as a city of knowledge, culture and influence.

“The Bureau already does an excellent job bringing events to Canberra. The additional funding from the ACT Government, and their significant injection into promoting the Canberra brand, will allow us to capitalise on the growth in the industry and reaching a wider market. We will see more business done in Canberra, more infrastructure built and more benefit to the local economy. This is really good for Canberra."