People and Places: Australian CVBs in London

Australia came to London last month for a one-week promotional campaign to woo the UK's C&I travel buyers.

Representatives from seven of Australia's convention bureaux - Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, the Whitsundays and Cairns - were joined by ten other Australian partners, including the sales managers from Australia's Intercontinental, Sofitel, Starwood and Hilton hotels.

Proceedings were kick-started with a formal evening at London's chic Soho Hotel. Using the hotel's own cinema, organisers screened a specially made film about Australia to 30 corporate buyers and their partners, followed by dinner.

A separate function for UK agents was held at London's Sofitel St James.

Meetings had been booked in advance with the Australian participants for an afternoon workshop that allowed the 20 agency representatives to gather information and network.

Maritz project manager Natasha Downard attended to help prepare for an event she is working on for a group of 50 from a car company that is travelling to Perth in November. "It's great when the people I need to see are all in one room," she said.

Any breaks were spent in true Aussie fashion, with wine-tasting and a visit from housewife superstar Dame Edna. Agents then proceeded to the Soho Hotel for a drinks reception.

Tourism Australia business tourism manager Mara Patterson said: "Because we're so far from the UK, we have to make more of an effort than other CVBs and bring a taste of Australia here."

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