AUSTRALIA saw a double-digit percentage increase in business-event arrivals from Asia last year, with India, Singapore and China taking the top three spots. Arrivals from India grew 56 per cent; Singapore, 45 per cent; and China, 26 per cent.
Speaking to TTG Asia e-daily during the Business Events Australia roadshow in Singapore yesterday, Maggie White, general manager South/South East Asia & Gulf Countries, Tourism Australia, said business out of South-east Asia has been “fabulous”.
“There is still growth out of these markets even up till end of March, and that is despite the strength of the Australian dollar,” she said.
White also noted that Australia receives a good number of repeat visitors from the region. Repeat visitorship from Singapore last year was 84 per cent – the highest among Asian source markets, followed by Indonesia at 76 per cent, Malaysia at 74 per cent, and Thailand at 63 per cent.
White said that it was important to “start attracting travellers when they are young, which will give us many more years to keep courting them". "This is especially important in South-east Asia, where the demographic is young,” she explained. “We have to use social media to reach this generation of incentive travellers, who don't want destinations that are not buzzing or lack a presence on social media platforms."
Gold Coast Convention Bureau account manager Asia – business events, Sidd Ketkar, agreed, saying that the bureau was in the early stages of developing an online ambassador programme that would allow satisfied incentive participants to share their experiences in Australia through a social media platform.
“Some clients have posted their experiences on YouTube, and we could eventually share those links with potential incentive participants (via this platform),” he said.