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Tourism Australia makes major changes for ATE 2013

ATE is heading to Sydney in 2013

Tourism Australia and host organisation, Destination NSW, have announced changes to the format of next year’s Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), due to be held in Sydney in April 2013.

Following an ongoing review of the event, feedback from industry stakeholders and representations from  ATE 2013 host state tourism agency, Destination NSW; the existing format involving separate ‘East’ and ‘West’ modules will be combined into a single, ‘shorter and sharper’ global event.

The new format will reduce the existing seven day trade event down to five days: four days of appointments following a first day dedicated to delegate registration and other activities, including market briefings and media activities.

Most other aspects of ATE 2013 will be similar to the current format, with final details to be confirmed in the coming months.

Key elements of ATE 2013 are:
-ATE 2013 will now run from Friday 26 April to Tuesday 30 April 2013;
-There will no longer be separate East and West modules – it will be one global event;
-Day 1, Friday 26 April, will be for Registration, market briefings and a welcome event;
-There will then be four days of appointments (Saturday 27 April to Tuesday 30 April), culminating with a farewell function.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy and Destination NSW CEO, Sandra Chipchase said the key driver behind the new format was to make the event, the largest travel trade show of its kind in the southern hemisphere, more efficient and effective.

McEvoy said that a more compact format would also reduce costs and the length of time spent out of the office for many sellers, which had been identified by some operators as an issue at this year’s ATE event in Perth.

“ATE is and remains a key business to business event for Tourism Australia, supporting the industry’s ongoing market efforts to grow inbound arrivals in what remains a highly competitive sector,” McEvoy said.

“ATE enjoys an excellent reputation amongst the industry, and the overwhelming feedback is consistently positive on the way the event is delivered. However, seven days is a long time for any trade fair and a significant investment in time and money, when taking into account accommodation and meals and time out of the office. With this in mind, and after a compelling case delivered by Destination NSW, we feel now is the time to evolve things.”

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said: “We believe these changes will make this great event even better, by making it shorter and sharper.

“We want the 2013 Sydney event to create new benchmarks of success and we are focused on showcasing NSW tourism products and services through pre and post famil activity.

“We believe the combination of both hemispheres into one mega event will underscore Sydney’s expertise in hosting Australia’s big events,” she said.

For Eastern buyers and sellers only attending the East component, the ATE 2013 format will extend the event from three days of appointments to four. For buyers and sellers only attending the West, there will be no change, remaining as four days of appointments.

McEvoy acknowledged that the shorter duration of the event would have some impact on the number of appointments that could be fulfilled.

He said Tourism Australia was looking at ways to increase the number of available slots each day, including giving sellers the option of taking up a second schedule which would allow some companies to complete more appointments in four days than they would have been able to do previously in seven days. 

“We’ve looked at the numbers and, based on previous events, we’re comfortable that the vast majority of sellers will still be able to fulfill their desired number of appointments within four days,” McEvoy said.

He said the changes only apply to next year’s ATE event in Sydney, but the format of future ATE events would continue to be reviewed, in line with industry feedback and input from hosting state tourism agencies.

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