Apratim Ghoshal, Editor Travel And Tour World, interacts at AIME 2019 with Juliet Alabaster, General Manager, Business Events, Brisbane Marketing. She highlights how Brisbane emerged as MICE friendly city and the future planning of Brisbane Marketing to project this lively city into highly desirable place to do good business with favourable infrastructure.
Travel And Tour World – Can you tell us about the development in AIME 2019 and how you are planning marketing policy for your business expansion?
Juliet Alabaster: 2019 Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) finally opened its doors and showcasing the reimagined event to the global meetings events industry. Here we are giving stress on both Australian market and international market as well. We have 11 dedicated team members of Brisbane Marketing. We are deeply focusing on leisure and MICE tourism in both national and international arena. Mostly the international companies and associations are our target market, as we have collaboration with Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. We focus mostly on incentive travel business. We see a good response from Chinese market.
Travel And Tour World: As you mostly target national and international business groups, can you tell me what kind of business sector usually come?
Juliet Alabaster: Brsibane has full of intuitive infrastructure, flexible venues, upscale leisure and business experiences, and helpful and knowledgeable team on hand to help. We have seen the bookings from the companies that are coming from health care, banking, insurance and pharmaceuticals sector.
Travel And Tour World: Why people are choosing Brisbane as a best MICE destination in Australia?
Juliet Alabaster: Brisbane is a city with all progressive business amenities. The city emerged as an influential leader in the Asia-Pacific and a highly desirable place to do business. Brisbane has good investment opportunities, conventions and business events, higher education, research, start-ups and technological innovation. This city is blessed with peaceful subtropical climatic condition throughout the year. The subtropical environment comes together with abundance of eco- parks and botanic gardens, creeks and waterways and, of course, the Brisbane River. All these contribute to outdoor-orientated culture of Brisbane. The city also offers diverse adventurous activities, scenic weekend getaways and vivacious city life to explore.
Travel And Tour World – Will you attract large MICE business group?
Juliet Alabaster: Yes. We host big MICE events consisting of 5000-7000 people. The city’s emerging global recognition was accelerated by its highly successful staging of the 2014 G20 World Leaders Summit. The city has ample number of hotels and conference centers. The Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre is situated in the unique riverside zone of South Bank. This is now the home to over 50 restaurants, cafes and bars, stylish shops, performing arts theatres and art culture. We also have good communication and transportation system. The Centre is a transport hub for trains and buses. From airport to city center is just 20 minutes. We will have second runway in 2020 which will increase air-traffic. We also have direct flight route to Asia Pacific countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Teipei, China, Guangdong, and Shenzhen. We also have good access to European countries and North America. We also target European market for big MICE event from international associations. We are coming up with World Pharmaceutical Congress, headquartered in Europe. They are coming with new event in 2021.
Travel And Tour World – Tell me about the latest development in the city.
Juliet Alabaster: Brisbane is truly a perfect city for conference, convention, meeting, incentive or business event with best quality of life and proper government infrastructure. Brisbane is at the core of business investment opportunities in south-east Queensland. The city gets good investment in developing convention centers, hotels and luxury resorts. In between 2014-2024, we are getting 30 more hotels offering nice and luxurious stay. Out of which 20 are already opened. South Bank is abode to the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC). It hosts venue for the 2014 G20 Leaders Summit and Australia’s most-awarded convention centre. South Bank Parklands, Brisbane Powerhouse and Royal International Convention Centre are the popular convention centers here. Brisbane Powerhouse is a leading contemporary multi-art, dining and conference venue. It has been created within an historic powerhouse station on the banks of the Brisbane River. Brisbane also got Westin Brisbane, a newly opened hotel. It is a $200 million hotel first for the Westin brand in Queensland, and brings a superior level of health and wellness offerings, four superb dining outlets and resort style facilities to the Brisbane CBD.
Travel And Tour World – In this highly competitive market area, how is Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre attracting MICE tourists
Juliet Alabaster: So, we are in touch with Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre to attract more business leaders to host events. Internationally recognised and current title holder of the world’s best convention centre, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre is country’s most awarded meetings and events venue. Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre hosts local and international conventions and working professionally with clients and delegates to present a total event solution. We are good in developing bids. Our bidding support program and strategic partnerships will give your conference the best opportunity for achieving outstanding results.
Travel And Tour World – What is your target in next five years?
Juliet Alabaster: We are focusing on industry. We are enhancing the conference facilities to increase the number of events. Incentive Travel is in our main focus. We are collaborating with European and Asian international associations.
Travel And Tour World – Tell me which city or convention center do you compete?
Juliet Alabaster: Every city or convention center is our competition. We are competing with Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne. We are also competing with international convention centers in Singapore, New Zealand, China and Japan. They are developing themselves with modern features and luxurious amenities to make any MICE event successful.
Travel And Tour World – Do you have any marketing office outside Australia?
Juliet Alabaster: We have our marketing office in Shanghai, Europe and Canada to get in touch with most of the international associations.
Travel And Tour World – How many trade shows you are participating to promote Brisbane?
Juliet Alabaster: We promote our destination in most of the internationally acclaimed travel-trade shows like IMEX America, IMEX Frankfurt, ITB Asia, IT&CL and IBTM Barcelona.