Held Dec. 4-5 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, the two-day
show featured 89 representatives of Australia’s business events industry and nearly
100 international incentive buyers, who
met in one-on-one appointments and then
joined post-event travel programs.
“Planners go home and get the feel in
their minds to tell their customers,” said
Penny Lion, general manager of Business
Events Australia, at Tourism Australia.
One big draw of an Australian agenda is
generally lower prices than over incentive
destinations of its stature, as well as a culture that doesn’t require tipping.
“When you get your room rate in Australia,
that’s your room rate,” she said. “We’re a very
cost-effective destination on the ground.”
Brisbane, which in the last few years has
held the G20 Brisbane Summit and the
World Science Festival Brisbane, and most
recently the Rugby League World Cup 2017,
is undergoing a massive influx of tourism
development that will play out until 2022.
“We’re going to see the most exciting
times the city has seen until about 2022,”
said Brett Fraser, CEO of Brisbane Marketing, the DMO that represents the east coast
“There’s close to a $10 billion [AUD] in-
vestment in major projects from the private
sector,” Fraser added. “Queen’s Walk
[development] will see about a $3.5 billion
[AUD] investment with a Ritz-Carlton
and a casino hotel like Marina Sands [in
Singapore], which will be a major driver of
Other major projects include the first
new-build W hotel in Australia, scheduled to
open by the end of spring 2018; a doubling
of capacity of the Brisbane Airport, which
will result in its capacity exceeding that of the
international airports in Hong Kong and Sin-
gapore; and a new cruise ship terminal.
Dreamtime 2017, the premier incentive travel product event in Australia,
Down Under and the rising
destination of Brisbane.
Dreamtime brings incentive pros to Brisbane
BY TYLER DAVIDSON
What did you learn about Australia from Dreamtime?
Dreamtime was an exceptionally well-organized ‘famil’ that
introduced myself and MorEvents to a myriad of incentive
and business opportunities for our current and perspective
clients. Brisbane is an up-and-coming city that will in the
next 3-5 years have state-of-the-art hotel facilities. Brands
like W, Westin, Emporium and Ritz-Carlton will soon come
to a destination that we can introduce our clients to. Port
Douglas and The Great Barrier Reef offer bucket list opportunities for our incentive trip clients. With high-quality boat
transfer opportunities as well as helicopter viewing it is easy
to put together a custom, priceless experience. Throughout
the entire trip the one thing that stood out was the service and
attitude of Tourism Australia. They have a can-do attitude that
is refreshing and are engaging to work with.
Did your participation in Dreamtime increase the
chances you’ll take an incentive group there?
Absolutely. MorEvents has booked a small, very high-level
incentive trip since returning from Dreamtime.
What type of incentive group would be the best fit
We believe an adventure-based incentive group is best to
plan an incentive trip to Australia. Ideally, couples or even
a family group would be the best incentive demographics.
How many days do you believe you would dedicate
to an Australia incentive?
Ten, including travel.
What surprised you the most about Australia?
The friendliness of the people. I saw this not only within
our planned activities but also at non-sanctioned venues
What challenges do you think Australia presents for
North America-based incentive group travel, and
were those challenges addressed or resolved in your
The distance to Australia from North America is absolutely an issue. Every conversation we have regarding an
incentive or business trip has this as part of the conversation. Clearly there is good flight coverage and quality
equipment with Virgin Australia. Price and budget also
become an issue for companies as travel policies surely
would dictate business class fares that not every program
What would be your advice to your fellow incentive
travel planners/managers about taking a group to
Work with Tourism Australia. They know their cities,
regions and want to help you sell, plan and execute your
program. If all else fails, just call “The Wizard” and let
me work with you on the program.
What is your top highlight of the post-trip?
Helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef.
Gareth Heyman // Wizard of all
Things // MorEvents // Denver