Tourism Australia has scrapped the 2020 edition of its flagship trade event showcase, the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), which was scheduled for Melbourne in May. At this stage, an alternative “virtual trade show” version of ATE20 is also not on the cards.
The decision to cancel ATE20 follow’s advice from the Federal Government that has put a temporary hold on “non-essential organised events” of more than 100 people, in addition to recently introduced travel restrictions requiring that everyone arriving into Australia must self-isolate for 14 days.
“Whilst the decision to cancel this year’s ATE is obviously deeply disappointing, and a further blow to our industry, the health and welfare of attendees has to be our primary concern,” said Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison.
“We’ve been monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation very closely and our scenario planning has of course included our forthcoming program of trade and industry events.
“We have made the decision to cancel ATE20 due to the situation unfolding globally and the effect it is having on travel.
Harrison said all buyers and sellers would receive a full refund. Participation fees are unable to be carried over to next year’s Australian Tourism Exchange. Understandably, the ATE20 familiarisation program has also been cancelled, as the International Media Marketplace supporting the event.
Tourism Australia says the host destination city for ATE 2021 will be revealed soon.
Meanwhile, other Tourism Australia events will continue to be reviewed on an ongoing basis due to the current coronavirus crisis.