April 25, 2007

The Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau will launch a discount card program this summer for meetings attendees to help boost event-related spending. Sydney Conference Cards can be presented at local restaurants, retail stores and other attractions for 10 percent discounts. A strong response to a four-month pilot program that began in March already has convinced tourism officials to triple the number of participating businesses for the card's official launch in July.

In other Australia news, a dozen of Australia's top convention centers and convention and visitor bureaus, including those in Melbourne and Sydney, have united to create the country's first national organization for the meetings industry, Conventions Australia, which will market and sell the destination primarily to the international association markets in Europe and North America. The announcement was made last week at IMEX in Frankfurt, Germany. Conventions Australia's immediate goal is to increase the number of conventions booked by 10 percent over the next three years.