Cairns the pick for work and play
CAIRNS is the most popular place chosen by overseas companies to hold their business meetings in the Sunshine State.
The Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics, as well as the airport, are luring international businessmen and women to work and play.
The 2011-12 Queensland Business Events Survey reveals the region hosted 102 international meetings, compared with 95 on the Gold Coast and 67 in Brisbane.
Business Events Cairns and Great Barrier Reef director Rosie Douglas said bookings for the first six months of the year were tracking the same as 2012.
She said focusing on the international market had paid dividends for the region, overtaking everywhere else in Queensland.
Ms Douglas said 65 per cent of the meetings were lucrative incentives, which were rewards for staff who achieved sales and other targets in the pharmaceutical, finance and automotive sectors.
"They reflect the international appeal of our dual World Heritage areas which have been attributed to boosting delegate numbers," she said.
"Good aviation access plays a role in our ability to attract meetings and incentives and we are seeing growth in that area."
Ms Douglas said, while overall international, national and local business meetings were down from 500 to 479, the number of delegates were up 1 per cent from 37,780 to 38,063 and the number of days they spent up 2 per cent from 147,121 to 149,860.
She said this year the focus was on China, Japan, US and New Zealand with familiarisation trips, trade shows and public relations exercises.
Cairns Convention Centre general manager Ross Steele said the centre ended 2012 on a record high, writing more business for the month of December since opening 15 years ago.
The conferences include the 2014 Tertiary Education Management Conference 2014 (800 delegates), 2013 Australasian International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Trail Summit (250), Community Legal Centres 2013 National Conference (500) and 2014 Parks and Leisure National Conference (600).
It comes on top of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in 2014 and Corroboree, Tourism Australia's mega familiarisation program from the UK and Europe in 2013, as well; as the 2015 3rd World Congress on Larynx Cancer 2015 (1000), 2016 Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Conference 2016 (600) and the 2015 International Ethological Conference 2015 (800).
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Business-minded: Rosie Douglas feels optimistic about future opportunities.