Cairns beats rivals to congress deals

The Cairns Convention Centre (CCC) has beaten off competition from Tokyo, Auckland and Philadelphia to win three international congresses. The events – the 5th World Congress of Paediatric Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery, the Congress of the World Federation of Sleep Research Societies and the International Peptide Symposium – will bring 6,500 delegates to the Queensland city. “Cairns is now attracting events that only the bigger Australian cities would have been in contention for previously, but our proportion of international conventions has increased by 50% in the last two years,” said the centre’s managing director Geoff Donaghy. “We attribute this growth to an increase in research and direct sales activities, as well as trade show attendance,” he said. “It’s a desirable destination with the Great Barrier Reef, the World Heritage rainforests, and ease of access by air.” These wins follow reports the centre had recently secured 14 major international conferences that would bring in 17,000 delegates up to 2006. The Cairns & Region CVB, which recently launched its latest Meeting & Incentive Planner Guide, recorded that business tourism is worth A$192m (£73m) annually. The CCC was ranked fourth in last year’s World’s Best Congress Centre survey, undertaken by the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC).

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