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Perth Convention Bureau funding reduction

In his budget statement released today, Western Australia’s State Treasurer, Hon Dr Mike Nahan MLA, announced a 28% reduction in funding for the Perth Convention Bureau’s (PCB) Business Events Marketing and Promotional Services Agreement with Tourism Western Australia (TWA) for the financial years 2016/17 to 2018/2019.

Established since 1972, PCB has been responsible for driving the business events sector in Western Australia by securing large, high yield conference events and marketing the City and State as a premium conference destination. In the last financial year, PCB secured direct delegate expenditure of $107.9 million delivering 104 per cent of the annual target of $104 million. PCB is on track in 2014-2015 to again exceed its annual target of securing $106 million in direct delegate expenditure to the State.

“Forward Estimates are disappointing and I know that many in the Hospitality and Business Events Industry will be shocked by the proposed level of funding in the three financial years commencing 2016-2017”, said PCB’s Chairman, Ian Laurance.

“This substantial reduction of funding is discouraging, particularly in the context of PCB being one of the highest performing convention bureaus in Australia with an ROI to WA State Government investment of 31:1 - double that of its east coast capital city bureau competitors”, said PCB’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Beeson.

“Further, PCB has almost doubled its cooperative funding and activities with the tourism industry over the last four years”, Paul added.

Business events delegates are the highest yielding of any tourism sector, five times that of a leisure tourist, so a reduction of these visitors would be a regressive outcome for Perth and Western Australia, particularly with the concurrent growth in venue and accommodation space.

“In view of the increased Convention space that will accompany the new hotels both under construction and proposed for Perth, this is not the time for the Government to be cutting back on the marketing of Western Australia as a Business Events destination”, said Ian Laurance.

“PCB has been around for 42 years and will continue to do the best job it can for the Tourism and Business Events Industry. Whilst we understand the straitened circumstances facing the State Government at this time, a lower level of funding for PCB in future years will make the task of increasing our market share extremely difficult”, he added.

PCB looks forward to working with the State Government over the next months to ensure the current level of funding is reinstated for its future contract period, allowing PCB’s high-value contribution to the State of Western Australia to continue.

Funded by the West Australian Government through Tourism WA and by the City of Perth, the Perth Convention Bureau drives the business events sector in Perth and Western Australia by securing large, high yield conference events and marketing the City and State as a premium conference destination.

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