Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef Director Rosie Douglas said the latest Queensland Business Events Survey figures showed the lucrative incentive market was up from 78 groups the previous year.
“We experienced an overall increase in international business events delegates up from 10,075 to 11,068 and this growth was largely driven by international incentive groups,” she said.
“Particularly pleasing was the growth in international delegate days which increased from 47,000 to 53,000.
“The variety of unique venues showcasing the dual World Heritage areas of the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest mean incentives in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef have a natural wow factor.
“Just last week we hosted 12 United States and Canadian incentive buyers and media highlighting the variety of off-site events, world-class hotels and exclusive high-end touring options in the region.
“They spent three days experiencing the Great Barrier Reef, Wet Tropics rainforest and attending functions such as dinner at Herbie’s Beach Shack, a private beach at Thala Beach Lodge, and Flames of the Forest, a rainforest dining experience.
“The feedback from the group was extremely positive with a number of opportunities to follow up for business from 2015 onwards.
“The interest from the incentive market reflects the growth the region has been experiencing from the US in the leisure market.”
The education program followed Dreamtime 2013 in Melbourne on December 9-11 which, as Australia’s signature trade event for showcasing incentive experiences, attracted more than 100 buyers from all over the world.
Ms Douglas and Business Events Sales Executive Amy Mail attended the event along with representatives from the Pullman Cairns International, Pullman Sea Temple Resorts, Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas, QT Port Douglas and Paradise Palms Resort & Country Club.