The government of Western Australia has handed down its 2022-23 State Budget, announcing an increase of A$31 million (US$21.8 million) in funding for tourism events.
This includes A$20 million for a new Major Events Fund, of which A$5 million has been allocated for hosting business events.
The latest financial injection comes in addition to the A$15 million Reconnect WA package announced in December 2021.
The boost in funding comes at a pivotal time for Western Australia’s business events industry, which is poised to experience a significant period of growth and recovery following the reopening of state borders and renewed appetite for travel from business event delegates.
Business Events Perth chair Bradley Woods said the additional funding recognised the important role that business events played in strengthening and diversifying the state’s economy, and the support that was needed to revive the sector after a significant disruption.
“The impact of Covid-19 on the business events industry has resulted in a massive hit, in terms of real losses and future business confidence, so this funding boost is well timed as we continue our efforts to secure lucrative business events to re-energise and rebuild the many venues and small businesses that are still struggling two years into this pandemic,” Woods said.
Tourism minister Roger Cook said the increased funding would maximise opportunities for the state, securing lucrative business events not just for their tourism impact, but also as a platform for economic diversification, presenting an opportunity to promote Western Australian expertise to the world.
“This is the next stage in turbo-charging Western Australia’s economic transition after the successful management of Covid-19 for more than two years,” Cook remarked.
“A revived programme of business events will help to create an economic legacy beyond the value of initial tourism expenditure – helping us build towards a bigger, better Western Australia.”