By Anthony McIntosh
Victoria’s regional business events sector is facing arguably the toughest operating conditions in years. Knocked about by the GFC and the Black Saturday bushfires, the sector is down on previous years by as much as 35%.
And the further from Melbourne , the tougher the going.
Large corporate and government agencies that have supported the sector over the years with management retreats, offsites, team-building activities and smaller trade events have largely stopped travelling into the bush.
The venues themselves have come to build their businesses around the mid-week corporate trade. Many are now contemplating whether to stay in business or whether to shut up shop. At a time when Victoria needs to be adding to its tourism and event product capacity to cater to the expected tide of international visitors from China and India in the coming decades, we are losing great facilities and, in effect shrinking!
Formal approaches to State Government have been made in recent weeks by Victoria’s peak tourism and events groups – Victoria Tourism Industry Council, Victoria Events Industry Council, Tourism Alliance Victoria, Business Events Victoria, Hotel Motel Accommodation Association (Vic), Backpacker Operator Alliance Victoria – for seed funding for sustainable business development activity.
Are you a regional business owner or employee? How has the GFC and Black Saturday bushfires impacted your business? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment.