Dreamtime 2017, the premier incentive travel product event in Australia, showcased both the Land Down Under and the rising destination of Brisbane.

Held Dec. 4-5, 2017, at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, the two-day show featured 89 representatives of Australia’s business events industry and nearly 100 international incentive buyers, who met in one-on-one appointments and then joined post-event travel programs.

“Planners go home and get the feel in their minds to tell their customers,” said Penny Lion, general manager of Business Events Australia, at Tourism Australia. 

One big draw of an Australian agenda is generally lower prices than over incentive destinations of its stature, as well as a culture that doesn’t require tipping.

“When you get your room rate in Australia, that’s your room rate,” she said. “We’re a very cost-effective destination on the ground.”

Brisbane, which in the last few years has held the G20 Brisbane Summit and the World Science Festival Brisbane, and most recently the Rugby League World Cup 2017, is undergoing a massive influx of tourism development that will play out until 2022.

“We’re going to see the most exciting times the city has seen until about 2022,” said Brett Fraser, CEO of Brisbane Marketing, the DMO that represents the east coast Australian city.

“There’s close to a $10 billion [AUD] investment in major projects from the private sector,” Fraser added. “Queen’s Walk [development] will see about a $3.5 billion [AUD] investment with a Ritz-Carlton and a casino hotel like Marina Sands [in Singapore], which will be a major driver of visitation.”

Other major projects include the first new-build W hotel in Australia, scheduled to open by the end of spring 2018; a doubling of capacity of the Brisbane Airport, which will result in its capacity exceeding that of the international airports in Hong Kong and Singapore; and a new cruise ship terminal.