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Call to lift 100-person cap on gatherings as April stats show zero short-term arrivals in Australia

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has confirmed its data has shown there were no short-term overseas arrivals in April 2020 whose main reason for travel was to attend a convention or conference.

Peak industry body, the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA), reacted to the news by urging all states and territories in the country to lift the 100-person cap on indoor gatherings in line with the National Cabinet’s Stage 3 roadmap to be completed in July.

Domestic border restrictions also need to be lifted to enable the return of business events, the association said.

Overseas arrivals data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 15 June, confirmed the extreme shutdown of Australia’s international business events industry. The number of short-term visitors arriving in April 2020 whose main reason for travel was to attend a convention or conference was zero.

With Australia’s borders still closed, this picture is unlikely to change for some time, and represents the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the business events industry and jobs.

The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) welcomes the recent announcement by the National Cabinet to lift the 100-person cap on indoor gatherings as part of Step 3, to be completed in July.

BECA Chair Dr Vanessa Findlay (pictured) said: “For business recovery, it is critical that notice is given to allow professional event organisers to plan and promote, as well as implement new safety and hygiene protocols.

“We urge all states and territories to announce this change for July as soon as possible in line with Step 3 of the framework for a CovidSafe Australia.

“It is also timely that internal borders are lifted at the same time to allow the significant domestic business events industry to flourish.”

Research commissioned by BECA shows that business events directly contribute A$35.7bn (US$24.66bn) to the Australian economy and employs 229,000 people. To sustain and grow the business events industry, event organisers, hotels, venues and service providers need a unified date to work towards so business events can rapidly restart with CovidSafe measures.”

Australia’s convention bureaux had secured almost 400 domestic business events for their respective destinations for the year, with an expected attendance of 170,000 delegates contributing A$282m to the Australian economy.

More information: www.businesseventscouncil.org.au

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