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Bureau pulls in $72m

The Perth Convention Bureau has secured confirmed business worth more than $72 million for the State in the past twelve months – a 21 per cent increase on the previous year.

PCB membership director Dion Bromilow said the Bureau was predicting a 12 per cent growth in its meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions business in the 2000-2001 financial year.

Mr Bromilow said the reason for the optimistic growth forecast was the proposed development of Perth’s dedicated convention and exhibition centre and the improving economic

situation in South East Asia, the source of most of WA’s incentive travel business.

In the past twelve months, national convention business exceeded target by 15 per cent, producing an estimated 17,286 delegates, 95,073 hotel room nights and $24.58 million in direct expenditure.

The Bureau also exceeded its incentive travel business annual target by 27 per cent.

PCB managing director Owen Cook said results in the international convention market were softer than expected.

Mr Cook put this down to several factors, including a lack of necessary infrastructure to attract larger meetings.

“The proposed convention and exhibition centre will make it easier for us to compete on a level playing field with the other States for larger international conventions,” Mr Cook said.

“It will also make us much more attractive to national associations which have been had access to dedicated

centres on the eastern seaboard for many years.”

Mr Cook said mainland Europe and the UK were markets the Bureau had been nurturing for many years and there were encouraging signs these would start to bear fruit, particularly in the incentive travel sector.

“It has taken a lot of effort to cultivate the incentive market in the UK but we started to hear positive feedback about our destination at recent trade shows,” Mr Cook said.

Mr Bromilow said PCB was delighted with its recent win in the Western Australian Tourism Awards.

The Bureau won this year’s meetings industry category, an award it last won in 1996.

“In 1999 we implemented a number of new initiatives such as our association scholarship program, the electronic signboard at Perth International Airport and our regional marketing program,” Mr Cook said.

He said the Bureau’s Convention Assistance Package was a major tool in assisting organisations to bid for and host national and international meetings in WA.

“Since introducing the CAP scheme in 1991, we have given more than $550,000 to local organisations,” Mr Cook said.

“This has generated business worth more than $200 million to the State’s economy.”

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