And that's just what New Zealand incentive buyers are looking for to inspire and reward
their top performers.
"Our clients love Australia as an incentive destination due to the amazing range
of experiences just on our doorstep," says Joelle Talbot, Managing Director of Fortis Events.
"Some of the most memorable programmes we have created have revolved around the array of major events that take place in Australia each year – including the Australian Open, Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne Cup Carnival, Vivid Sydney and of course All Black matches. Our groups love taking in the atmosphere around these events and the added touches we can provide by working with local suppliers to enhance their programmes."
"Another element contributing to our most memorable programmes are the luxury hotels that are opening right across Australia, which are providing an elevated level of service and experience," says Ms Talbot.
The unprecedented infrastructure push is being seen throughout the country and is the result of continuing high demand from the business events traveller. That means a swathe of new hotels, innovative venues and event spaces ensuring the Lucky Country remains at top of the list with kiwi corporate decision–makers when planning business events.
"What Australia offers with our ongoing developments is the opportunity to create a programme that hasn't been done before and is exclusive to their event," says Penny Lion, Executive General Manager Events at Tourism Australia.
"That's so important in generating buzz and interest amongst participants and delivering return on investment. With developments happening right across Australia, including Perth's Elizabeth Quay, Sydney's Barangaroo, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cairns there's so much choice and opportunity, and that translates into exciting, innovative programmes.
"The opening of the International Convention Centre Sydney in December 2016 and the regeneration of the Darling Harbour precinct, which we're a part of, has not only reinvigorated the city's business events, conventions and exhibition activity but it has also stimulated a whole range of new hotel developments," says Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney.
Among the new developments is Barangaroo, Sydney's newest waterfront development comprising 22 hectares of prime harbourside land in the heart of the city. Barangaroo
is conveniently connected to Darling Harbour and the nearby ICC Sydney. There are 40 newly built restaurants and bars, including the three level Matt Moran owned Barangaroo House where groups of up to 160 guests can be accommodated cocktail style and 110 seated when choosing to hire levels exclusively. Other purpose–built event spaces include The Cutaway – an expansive, below–ground concrete space of ering flexibility for a range of large–scale events of up to 5,000 people, while The Stargazer Lawn – a gently sloping, elevated parkland offers an open lawn area and harbour views for up to 3,500, (combined with Walumil Lawns, that capacity stretches to 5,000). The 349 room Crown Sydney Hotel Resort is on track for opening in 2021. It's an integrated hotel resort and casino and will be Sydney's first six–star resort, with conditionals recently granted.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel The Towers Perth at Elizabeth Quay due to open October 2019, will feature 204 luxury hotel suites accompanied by a wide range of event venues and recreational amenities. The podium rooftop bar will be accessible to the general public and will have a prime vantage point overlooking the quayside.QT Perth has opened a new 184 room, 18-storey hotel featuring seven conference rooms capable of accommodating up to 315 guests, a signature bar and grill restaurant, rooftop bar and café. The rooftop bar has views across the Swan River, Perth Hills and Perth Stadium.Crown Perth offers conferencing facilities and three hotels, including the newly-opened 500 room Crown Towers, the award-winning Crown Metropol (with 397 rooms) and Crown Promenade (with 291 rooms). Located on the Swan River, the resort offers multiple dining outlets, a signature Crown Spa and a 2,300-seat theatre. Crown has six dedicated meeting and events venues, including three separate ballrooms holding a maximum capacity for 1500 guests, as well as The Great Lawn, 1800 square metre of alfresco space located alongside the Crown Towers resort pool and with a backdrop of the Swan River and city skyline.
The Optus Stadium in Perth, with 18 specially designed event spaces can host up to 2,000 guests, whilst the stadium itself seats 60,000. Near Crown Perth on the Swan River, the Stadium's event spaces include rooftop venues with views of the river as well as prime spaces from which to take in events on the field.
The Darling, Gold Coast is part of The Star Gold Coast's AUD2 billion redevelopment, which will add 3,000 new hotel rooms to the region once completed. The Darling features 56 suites, dining options including Nineteen at The Star, multiple event spaces and onsite spa.
Adelaide is another city in transformation.
Its changing landscape, including a rejuvenated Riverbank Precinct and a series of new growth industries has injected fresh energy into the city and seen it emerge as a leading destination for business events. That vitality is best illustrated in the city's growing hotel landscape. A raft of five–star properties, including those by Sofitel and Crowne Plaza are on the horizon – all located just a short distance from the Convention Centre. Marriott International is set to open The Westin Adelaide, a brand new 15–storey luxury property in Adelaide's city centre by 2022. The 285 room Westin Adelaide will be housed within the city's historic General Post Office Building and will feature more than 310 square metres of meeting and event space.
Melbourne has also increased its capacity with the recently expanded Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). The new space grows MCEC's total size to more than 70,000 square metres – the largest convention and exhibition centre in Australia. The expansion includes a 9,000 square metre multi–purpose event space with a retractable 1,000 seat theatre, new exhibition halls, meeting rooms both large and small, an outdoor terrace, ballroom and banquet space. The expansion is part of a larger South Wharf project that includes a new 347–room Novotel Melbourne South Wharf – with direct access to the MCEC.
The Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust has announced a series of refurbished venues across its world-class events precinct located on the edge of Melbourne's vibrant CBD.
Caption: Barangaroo is Sydney's newest waterfront development. Credit: Barangaroo Delivery Authority.