The Australian Tourism Exchange kicks off on the Gold Coast

One of Tourism Australia’s major trade events for international tourism wholesalers and retailers, the Australian Tourism Exchange has begun on the Gold Coast, with around 2,500 delegates from Australia and 30 other countries meeting to learn and do business.

The event, which kicked off yesterday and runs until Thursday, has returned to its full face to face format this year for the first time since the pandemic began.

“The Gold Coast has transformed in recent years into one of the nation’s most vibrant destinations and ATE will be our time to really shine and strengthen connections with our global travel and trade partners who sell Australian holidays internationally, aviation network and media,” said Destination Gold Coast’s interim CEO Karen Bolinger.

“The fact that ATE is at our doorstep today is a testament to the conversations and negotiations that took place at a time when borders were closed – so it’s a significant opportunity for Gold Coast’s visitor economy to harness with the world now open.

“We have worked in close partnership with Tourism Australia and Tourism and Events Queensland to ensure ATE delegates leave the Gold Coast with a memorable impression of our city, Queensland and Australia.

“Our role as host destination is to showcase our advancing city and its diverse offerings and we hope the anticipated positive ripple effect is felt by all our tourism partners.

“ATE gives our global travel and trade partners and media the opportunity to journey to different parts of the region to experience the destination first-hand and in turn share these experiences with their customers so we can attract more high yielding international visitors from across the world.”

With Tourism Research Australia predicting international visitation will exceed pre-COVID levels in 2025, Australia’s federal tourism minister Don Farrell said ATE was critical to the recovery of the nation’s tourism industry.

“The long-term benefits from ATE are substantial – the relationships and future business it establishes can grow Australia’s tourism industry by billions.

“Tourism is vital for our operators, the hundreds of thousands of Australians working in the industry, and the communities who rely on it.

“We are already seeing international visitors return to our shores, and we hope the business generated at ATE gives the visitor economy another welcome boost.”

Queensland’s tourism minster Stirling Hinchliffe said the event was a chance to spotlight the state’s tourism offerings.

“As hosts this is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our great state to the world and through our comprehensive familiarisation program sell Queensland visitor experiences and our stories to the international media,” said Hinchliffe.

“Queensland is lucky to have so many iconic tourism destinations from the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest to our vast Outback and beautiful Islands and beaches that are all ready to welcome international visitors.

“The international tourism market is extremely important, and the Palaszczuk Government is committed to building it back even stronger.”

Destination Gold Coast and Tourism and Events Queensland have both collaborated with Tourism Australia to host the event in Southeast Queensland for 2023.

The Gold Coast will have the opportunity to showcase more than 50 tourism products and experiences across 25 familiarisations as part of ATE 2023.

Tourism Australia’s managing director Phillipa Harrison said ATE delegates’ first-hand experience of Australia was an important part of being able to sell Australia to international travel clients.

“We know once they have seen what Australia has to offer for themselves they will be well placed to tell travellers why Australia is the best place in the world for their next holiday,” she said.

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