Perth was the host city for the 40th annual Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) from 8 to 12 April at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.
ATE19 included a mix of business appointments and networking opportunities for Australian tourism operators and international travel buyers representing over 30 countries.
It was the fourth time ATE had been hosted in Western Australia; it was first held in Perth in 2005, and again in 2008 and 2012.
Melbourne will host the 41st edition of ATE at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 10 to 14 May 2020.
40 Years of ATE
Overseas buyers have been attending an annual travel trade fair in Australia since 1979. The first event was called Marketplace and the only overseas buyers in attendance were from North America.
By 1981, Marketplace was attracting worldwide interest and buyers were coming from Europe, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. At this stage, Marketplace had only 50 booths for large Australian operators. Small operators had no opportunity to meet with international Buyers, so ATE was established for these buyers and ran immediately before Marketplace.
In 1985 the two forums merged to become ATE Marketplace. In 1986 the event became known as ATE. Over the years, the product range has grown to encompass all aspects of travel and tourism including transport and touring operations, state and regional tourism bodies and theme parks.
In 2013 in Sydney, a new format was introduced, reducing the existing seven-day trade event down to five days, bringing together both the Eastern and Western markets.
ATE was held in a regional destination for the first time in 2014. Right on the doorstep of Queensland’s stunning world-heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, Cairns offered a more relaxed, yet exciting location for ATE. In 2016, Gold Coast was the second regional host-city.
Today, Tourism Australia’s flagship event continues to evolve while remaining true to the purpose of connecting the Australian tourism industry with global travel buyers.