The southern hemisphere’s biggest travel trade show starts tomorrow, when more than 2,300 delegates descend on Perth to help sell Australia to the world.
Tourism Minister Sheila McHale said the seven-day Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, was the second time in three years WA would stage the event.
“While it is clear the Apache gas explosion has created significant difficulties for hotels, I am confident our international guests will understand and be patient and tolerant,” Ms McHale said.
The Minister said ATE was a massive international tourism expo, in which the State Government invested $2.5million to host.
“It will directly boost the State’s economy by $10million and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in future tourism business,” she said.
The international event has adopted several green initiatives to promote sustainability and encourage delegates and sponsors to lower their impact on the environment.
“The State Government, Tourism Australia and Qantas have developed various carbon offset programs to help reduce the event’s environmental footprint,” Ms McHale said.
“Qantas is offsetting flights for the international buyer and media delegates attending the event and ATE will be paperless where possible.
“Tourism WA will offset emissions from their various functions and events at ATE through the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council’s waste diversion and landfill methane management program.”
The Minister said this year’s ATE would promote indigenous tourism through a special Aboriginal Australia showcase.
“WA leads the nation when it comes to Aboriginal tourism, boasting 26 per cent of the country’s export ready indigenous tourism product,” she said.
“Since ATE 2005, we’ve seen a 13.6 per cent increase in international visitors who have experienced Aboriginal activities.”
Ms McHale said ATE 2008 would position WA as a leading holiday destination, when thousands of delegates, including up to 650 key overseas buyers and media and 1,700 Australian sellers, visited WA.
“These buyers arrange travel, hotels, tours and services on behalf of overseas visitors travelling to WA, so their involvement is vital to growing tourism,” she said.
“About 365 delegates will tour WA on 68 different itineraries over the course of the event, which can potentially deliver millions of dollars in tourism spend.
“These delegates are from all the areas where we concentrate our marketing - Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Europe and New Zealand.”
Further information is available at: http://www.ate2008.com
Minister's office - 9213 6900