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Australian bureau unanimously support AIME 2006

Australian Convention and Tourism Bureau are gearing up for what looks to be a very busy AIME 2006, when it opens at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, 6 and 7 June. AIME Event Director, Rosemarie Sama, said that…

Australian Convention and Tourism Bureau are gearing up for what looks to be a very busy AIME 2006, when it opens at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, 6 and 7 June. AIME Event Director, Rosemarie Sama, said that Reed Travel Exhibitions is expecting another year of strong growth as the business events industry in the Asia Pacific region shows no signs of slowing.

“Six Australian Convention and Tourism Bureaux have taken more space than ever before, which is indicative of a prosperous year for the business events industry,” said Ms Sama.

According to Angela Uhlig, Director of Sales and Marketing, Cairns & Region Convention Bureau, AIME is the most important event on the Asia Pacific business events calendar.

“During AIME 2005 a total of 83 hot sales leads were generated with a potential economic impact of $50 million for the region. We also wrote business at the show in excess of $500,000 and this business was to take place within the next six months. Demand was so high from buyers that our members were taking appointments before the show officially opened and during morning, lunch and afternoon tea breaks. Due to the positive results of AIME 2005 we have had to increase our stand space to accommodate for the growing number of stakeholders that wish to take part,” she said.

Pavan Bhatia, CEO, Gold Coast Tourism (GCT) also said the response from AIME 2005 was extremely positive and has lead to GCT doubling its stand size for 2006.

“Our continued participation and investment at AIME allows us to further enhance our reputation as one of Australia’s fastest growing business tourism destinations and effectively engage with key buyers on a face to face level,” he said.

According to Lynn Fairbrass, Manager, Northern Territory Convention Bureau, the Northern Territory stand has been increasing in size for the last three years.

“Each year we have suppliers returning to AIME to capitalise on the business generated from the year before, as well as new exhibitors and territory representatives attending for the first time. The increasing size of the Northern Territory stand is a reflection of the growing importance of the business events market in the Northern Territory and the awareness of the Northern Territory as a business events destination,” said Ms Fairbrass.

Anne-Marie Coulton, Conference and Incentive Manager, Sunshine Coast Convention Bureau says that according to the Queensland Treasury, meetings in the Sunshine Coast region have grown more than 27% in the past year.

“The Sunshine Coast is proving to be a hot spot for meetings with six new conference venues opening in 2005 and we have recently experienced new interest from the Asian and UK markets. We have had to increase our stand space to accommodate for our new stakeholders and all our past co-exhibitors who don’t want to miss AIME 2006. Our main focus is on the east coast Australian and New Zealand markets and AIME has the highest caliber of Hosted Buyers from these regions,” said Ms Coulton.

According to Renee Rivers, Business Development Co-ordinator, Adelaide Convention Tourism Authority, AIME 2006 is one of the biggest events the organisation attends each year.

“National business, the New Zealand and the Asian markets are going to be a strong focus for us in 2006 and AIME allows us the opportunity to meet top quality buyers from these regions,” said Ms Rivers.

Mike Williams, General Manager Sales, Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau says the bureau has heightened its focus on the competitive international meetings and convention market since the Victorian Government announced it would construct a new 5,000-seat convention centre by 2009.

“Another priority market for us is the Asian incentive market since our recent announcement to open two new offices in Asia,” said Mr Williams.

Karen Bolinger, General Manager Marketing, Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau says Asia is proving to be an important source of business and is the bureau’s fastest growing market.

“Sydney is beginning to reap the benefits of having opened Australia’s first CVB office in Hong Kong in late 2004. China and its Special Administrative Regions are already providing excellent business for Sydney and will be an important source of growth in the future. We also draw business from the all important markets in North America and Europe. AIME is an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of Sydney and the Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau in front of an international audience,” she said.

AIME 2006 will host 480 of the world’s most important incentive and convention industry buyers which is a 13% increase on AIME 2005.

“Increases in Hosted Buyer numbers are expected to come from Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, and possibly the United States. AIME will deliver more international and national association buyers than ever before and more corporate buyers, particularly from Australia,” said Ms Sama.

AIME 2006, 14th AsiaPacific Incentives and Meetings Expo, will be held on 6 and 7 June at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

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