Brisbane will host one of the world’s largest travel industry conferences next year, with Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones today announcing Flight Centre will bring its global conference to the River City in July 2020.
About 4500 travel consultants, executives and senior travel industry figures will travel to Brisbane for Flight Centre’s ‘Global Gathering’ which will showcase the city and surrounding regions to the company’s global top achievers.
Ms Jones said securing the conference was a clear demonstration of the respect Brisbane had globally throughout the travel and business events industry.
“Conferences and business events are a multi-billion-dollar global industry,” she said.
“We bid for events like this because they help to grow our tourism industry and create jobs in Queensland.
“The fact that we’ve been able to secure one of the industry’s largest global conferences for Brisbane proves that our reputation as a world-class destination for events continues to improve.”
The event was secured by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland in partnership with the Brisbane City Council through Brisbane Marketing.
Ms Jones said Queensland’s tourism industry was booming.
“With six major hotel openings in the last 12 months and a raft of new dining, cultural and lifestyle experiences on offer, Brisbane’s tourism industry is growing rapidly,” she said.
“We’re investing more in tourism than any other government in Queensland’s history – this has given the private sector great confidence to deliver new attractions and experiences in the River City.
“It’s great to welcome Australia’s largest travel retailer home to Brisbane to celebrate their achievements for the year and experience everything southeast Queensland has to offer so they can be inspired to sell more Queensland holidays.”
Flight Centre Travel Group managing director Graham Turner said the company’s annual conference would run from July 10-12 next year and would showcase the region to the company’s top achievers globally.
“The Global Gathering is the most important conference on our annual calendar and is a keenly anticipated event for our 20,000 people throughout the world,” Mr Turner said.
“Brisbane is our global headquarters, so it’s fitting that we bring our people to the city to take part in this important event and to sample South-East Queensland’s world class features and attractions.
“The overwhelming majority of the delegates will be travel consultants and they will gain first-hand experience of these features and attractions and will then share that knowledge with their customers, opening the door to further tourism benefits long into the future.
“Of course, the Global Gathering will also deliver immediate benefits to the local economy as our 4500 delegates travel to the city for three days of conferencing and given that they will be encouraged to extend their stays to make the most of their visits to Queensland and to Australia.
“We thank Brisbane Marketing and Tourism and EventsQueensland for their help in bringing this event to Brisbane for the first time.”
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Flight Centre’s Global Gathering would deliver a $7 million economic boost and he looked forward to welcoming its top achievers to the company’s global headquarters.
“We’re confident that once the world’s leading travel professionals experience what Brisbane has to offer, they too will become advocates for our incredible city,” Cr Schrinnersaid.
“Brisbane is increasingly lauded as a top place to visit thanks to our glorious weather, new hotels and attractions, natural environment, local culture and welcoming people. The Global Gathering will help keep Brisbane top of mind as an international destination of choice.”
The Global Gathering which was last held in Australia in 2001 (in Sydney) is sponsored by some of the world’s leading airlines and tour companies and attracts senior travel industry executives, along with high profile guest speakers.
Key-note speakers at previous gatherings have included former United States president Bill Clinton, Andre Agassi, Michael J Fox and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The 2019 Global Gathering was held in Las Vegas over the weekend and featured Mark Wahlberg.