Tourism Australia’s largest annual travel trade event, the Australian Tourism Exchange 2021 (ATE21), opened in Sydney yesterday, running across two weeks as a hybrid event incorporating both live and online elements for the first time.
This will be the 41st edition of Australia’s largest tourism tradeshow and it is designed to connect tourism operators together with travel wholesalers and agents from Australia and around the world. This year’s event is particularly significant, as it is the first time the tourism industry has gathered on such scale since pre-COVID.
The live event, ATE Live, will take place from 6 to 9 June at the ICC Sydney, with more than 1,000 buyers and sellers in attendance from both Australia and New Zealand including inbound tour operators, luxe buyers, and specialist buyers. ATE Online will follow from 10 to 17 June and will facilitate connections with over 1,200 Australian sellers and international buyers who are unable to be in Australia in-person.
The demand for ATE has been extraordinary, and more than 57,000 meetings have been created across ATE Live and ATE Online with 99 per cent of buyer diaries being full.
Tourism Australia Managing Director, Phillipa Harrison, said that it was wonderful to look towards the industry’s future, after one of the most challenging years on record for tourism.
“The tourism industry was one of the hardest hit, first by the impacts of the 2019-20 summer bushfires and then the COVID-19 pandemic, and while we know it will take time for the industry to fully recover, maintaining business connections is critical,” Phillipa Harrison said.
“Having the opportunity to bring together so many colleagues from the industry, both from within Australia and overseas, to make, maintain and develop invaluable links between Australian tourism operators and the global distribution network at ATE is more important than ever for ensuring Australia remains top of mind.
“While we look forward to the time when we can once again welcome back travellers from all our key markets around the world to experience our beautiful country, we continue to support our tourism operators, who are the lifeblood of our offering, through events such as ATE,” Phillipa Harrison said.
Tourism Australia is pleased to be facilitating ATE through full subsidisation of three nights’ accommodation for primary seller delegates and primary buyer delegates, as well as full subsidisation of the buyer and seller participation fees, through the $6.5 million in funding support from the National Bushfire Recovery Fund.
There are several other new elements to the 2021 ATE event. ATE Luxe is a new luxury program being trialled for the first time, and will take place across both ATE Live and ATE Online. ATE Luxe is a bespoke opportunity for selected buyers and sellers who deliver high-end experiential product tailored to the luxury market.
The Aviation Program is also a new initiative for 2021, designed as an opportunity for airline and airport stakeholders to participate and meet with each other at ATE Live. Senior airline representatives will be in attendance to participate in the Aviation Panel discussion, live recording of interviews with senior industry representatives will be hosted by CAPA, and there will be exhibition space for airports and a lounge area for networking. There will be 25 airlines will be in attendance, along with 14 Australian airports.
The ATE Live event will operate under COVID-19 safety measures set by the NSW Government.
With this year’s hybrid event format, Australian sellers can meet and network with both Australian-based international and domestic buyers in person, and then virtually with overseas-based international buyers. The impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry has been devastating, and Tourism Australia’s focus is on supporting Australia’s tourism businesses as much as possible so they can maintain these valuable business connections, rebuild, and return to growth again once international travel resumes.
Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.