The 43rd edition of Tourism Australia’s largest annual trade event, the Australian Tourism Exchange 2023 (ATE23), has officially opened on the Gold Coast with around 2,300 delegates expected to take part in the event at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
This year ATE has returned to its traditional format for the first time since 2019, with four days of appointments. The tourism travel show has taken place in a condensed hybrid format over the past two years.
Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said the first full ATE in years is an important milestone for the Australian tourism industry as it continues to rebuild off the back of the most challenging few years in its history.
“International travellers are returning to our shores but the competition for the global tourism dollar is now greater than ever before which is why business-to-business events, such as ATE, are so important,” Ms Harrison said.
“ATE brings together tourism businesses, tourism wholesalers and retailers from around the world for four days of appointments as well as networking events, while our international buyers get the chance to experience our world class tourism offerings first hand.”
“The delegates visit from more than 30 countries and 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.”
Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said the whole state was ready to welcome ATE delegates in what is another important step forward in our international recovery.
“ATE is our primary opportunity to put Queensland in front of crucial international trade and media partners and we have an incredible program lined up.
“The industry has continued to invest whilst borders were closed and as a result we have opened to the world with billions of dollars of new infrastructure, products and experiences that have been completed or under construction across the State.
“There is strong enthusiasm for this event in Queensland and for these partners to arrive and see firsthand our world-class tourism experiences.
“Queensland will bring the largest contingent of tourism businesses of any state and we look forward to the opportunity to reconnect with these important partners.
“Our comprehensive familiarisation program will also show first-hand why Queensland is a bucket list destination with nearly 500 people from more than 30 countries exploring everything from the reef to the rainforest, the ocean to the Outback and of course our iconic beaches.
“Rebuilding Queensland’s $6 billion international market is critical to the future of tourism for this country.
“We welcome the 2,300 delegates to the Gold Coast and to Queensland and know they will leave with strong business partnerships and memorable moments shared exploring our state.”
Destination Gold Coast Interim CEO Karen Bolinger said the Gold Coast has transformed in recent years into one of the nation’s most vibrant destinations.
“We want the Gold Coast to be one of the most desirable destinations across the world and ATE gives us an extraordinary opportunity to position ourselves as Asia-Pacific’s most dynamic and innovative holiday and business events destination,” Ms Bolinger said.
“ATE will be our time to really shine and showcase to the world a rejuvenated Gold Coast as delegates experience first-hand every flavour of our city that we enjoy every single day.
“The Gold Coast boasts golden beaches which is home to the world’s first floating underwater reef, unspoiled waterfalls and hiking trails through World Heritage listed rainforest and cool urban coastal precincts, all within a 45-minute radius.”
ATE23 will run from 30 April to 4 May 2023, with around 2,300 delegates from 30 countries. The delegates include around 650 international buyers and 80 international media who will also have the opportunity to participate in pre and post event familiarisations.
ATE23 is delivered by Tourism Australia in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland and supported by Destination Gold Coast.