Convention Bureau on target despite spending fall

THE Perth Convention Bureau has exceeded its annual sales target by attracting $55.7 million in delegate expenditure for the state’s business tourism market in 2006-07, although this was well below the amount attracted in the previous year. The bureau said it attracted 68 national and international conventions and corporate meetings to Perth, with a total of 31,734 delegates. Their total spending was above the bureau’s target of $55.05 million. However, the PCB was unable to match the previous financial year’s $72.2 million delegate spend, which was helped by the attraction of two large incentives conferences to Perth. The two big conferences, representing 3,350 and 3,000 participants respectively, generated a combined delegate spend of more than $14 million. Bureau executive chairman Graham Muir said the 2006-07 result was an extremely satisfying performance. “I think we’re all aware that each year we’re operating in an increasingly competitive market environment, so it’s particularly pleasing to exceed our sales target for last year,” he said. Mr Muir said the Convention Bid Fund, a three-year initiative launched in July 2005 with $1 million from the state government, was a key factor in attracting larger conferences to WA. The government funding is contingent on the private sector also contributing a further $500,000. Mr Muir said more than $37 million worth of business had been secured since the CBF was introduced. He added that the ability to offer financial support was often the difference between WA winning or losing a conference from other competing destinations. “This has been a great boost to our efforts to attract the 500-plus delegate conferences and now we’re in the final year of the CBF we expect to comfortably exceed its $50 million target,” Mr Muir said. “Clearly, the government and the wider Western Australian community will have received an excellent return on its $1 million investment.” Edited announcement.

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