Bond University’s Professor Keitha Dunstan and Assistant Professor Peta Stapleton have been recognised for their role in helping inject millions into the Gold Coast economy by working to secure conferences and meetings for the City.
Professor Dunstan and Assistant Professor Stapleton were formally honoured for their participation in the Gold Coast Business Events Ambassador Program at an awards ceremony at Gold Coast City Council presided over by Mayor Tom Tate.
The Gold Coast Business Events Ambassador Program has resulted in $20 million in conferences, meetings and events booked for the Gold Coast, with a further $15 million in potential business events still pending.
Business events are a major contributor to the city’s economy and social capital with the industry contributing $306 million to the local economy in 2014.
“I applaud all involved in this ambassador program and thank them for their tireless work to promote our city and its attractions,’’ Mayor Tom Tate said.
“One of the legacy outcomes our city hopes to achieve from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games is a more engaged community. As the Games draw near, we will undertake a major volunteer drive for those wanting to assist in promoting all that is great about our city to the many thousands of visitors.
“When I learn of programs such as the one we are celebrating here today, I know we have a great deal of pride and passion among our residents.”
The Ambassador program unites influential leaders from key local industries to proactively promote the Gold Coast to the rest of the world through their industry networks.
Ambassadors represent a diverse cross section of academic, medical, corporate and not for profit sectors and are typically quiet achievers in their own field or industry. The Ambassadors provide a vital link, working alongside Gold Coast Business Events to lobby and actively bid to attract a future national or international conference to the Gold Coast.
Gold Coast Tourism Director of Business Events Anna Case says Ambassadors are an integral part of achieving increased business events for the city.
“Ambassadors volunteer their time and expertise when they step forward to bid for a conference. The events they help to deliver not only contribute to the economy, they also enrich our city with opportunities to host world leaders and industry experts as delegates attending conferences on the Gold Coast,” she said.
Delegates typically spend 3 to 5 days attending a conference and usually spend double that of a leisure tourist.