Event planners are being urged to take their business to regional destinations, as tourism and event booking cancellations reach as high as 70 per cent in some areas due to the ongoing bushfire season.
Misconceptions and misinformation are among the biggest reasons why event planners are taking their events away from regional areas, according to Carla Offord, CEO at venue sourcing specialist The Conference Shop.
“I think there’s misconception at the moment about regional NSW not being open for business,” she said. “People still think there’s active fires and that smoke is a hazard in a lot of regional destinations, which is actually not true.”
“After speaking with a lot of hotels in regional destinations, they’ve had the highest cancellation rates of any conferences in a long time because of that misconception, and we’re talking about conferences that are even a couple of months away.”
Offord said it’s now up to corporate groups to bring business to regional areas across Australia that are struggling.
“Regional destinations are screaming for business,” she said.
“There should be a little bit of responsibility placed on corporates to take their business out regional if they can.”
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