Aside from hosting more international conferences, Perth has also been drawing meetings and incentive groups from Asia, especially Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and China — with Thailand and Japan also showing high growth.
Food and wine itineraries are the latest trend: from degustation menus, pop-up bars, wine and cheese tastings, market and food tours, to cooking demonstrations and master-classes. Every November, the Margaret River Gourmet Escape offers exciting activities, as do other festivals and events throughout the year.
Smailing Tours has seen a steady growth in incentive travel from Indonesia to Perth and Western Australia (WA) over the years. Its top clients come from banking, insurance, multi-level-marketing and the property sectors with groups, ranging from ten to 100 people.
Tey Wei Young, Smailing’s senior manager, product development (International Division), says: “Perth and WA are popular among Indonesians for quality food and wine, unique landscapes and close geographic proximity. Outbound incentive travel growth will remain strong with rising disposable incomes — especially in the growing middle class — and due to Garuda’s direct flights from Jakarta to Perth.”
PNL Travel from Malaysia says its incentive clients like WA’s good variety of land and sea activities, including good food, wine and shopping. Hotel and convention facilities are also good. WA is safe and peaceful with no traffic jams.
A walking tour through multicultural Northbridge reveals shops and behind-the-scenes experiences to taste Asian foods along with specialist-roasted coffee, pastries, cheeses and continental meats. Even traditional Chinese medicine can be found in old alleys.
The 2013/14 financial year saw Perth Convention Bureau (PCB) achieve record results, securing several conferences and 84 corporate and incentive groups, or A$107 million (US$93m) in direct delegate expenditure.
Conferencing is the highest-yielding tourism sector. Major upcoming conferences include the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Congress, and 24th ASEG-PESA International Geophysical Conference & Exhibition.
PCB CEO Paul Beeson says: “Exceeding our targets is a wonderful reflection of the professional PCB team working closely with our industry. This, combined with ongoing improvements to Perth and Western Australia’s tourism and venue product offering, is ensuring our message has far greater impact.”