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M.I.C.E. Venues

 February 24, 2006
Perth Centre Named Australia's Best

 It's now official! Australia's newest purpose-built convention, exhibition and meeting venue, the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre (Perth Centre) is the best in the country, having won the highly coveted 'Meetings & Business Tourism' title at last night's 2005 Australian Tourism Awards.

The prestigious national Awards are the benchmark for excellence in Australia's tourism industry.

Announced at a gala ceremony on the Gold Coast, the Perth Centre beat a tough field of contenders representing the best in the business. Among the other finalists were Intercontinental Hotels Group, Northern Territory; Quality Southbank Hotel & Convention Centre, Queensland; Novotel North Beach, New South Wales; Level 1 Adelaide Hilton Hotel, South Australia; Marylands Country House, Victoria; and The Old Wool Store Apartment Hotel, Tasmania.

The national title follows the Perth Centre's success at the Western Australian Tourism Awards in November 2005 and comes hot on the heels of a multitude of recent award victories, including the Catering Institute of Australia (WA) 2005 Gold Plate Award for Venue Caterers; the 2005 Restaurant & Catering Industry Association of Australia (WA) for Function / Convention Centre Catering; and the Kimberly-Clark Professional 2005 Golden Service Award.

According to Ron Buckey, Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Council WA, such high-profile recognition of the Perth Centre, as Western Australia's primary driver for business tourism, is well deserved.

"This accolade acknowledges the Perth Centre's high quality approach across every facet of its operation, which ultimately delivers an impeccable end result for its clients, delegates and visitors," he said.

Judging criteria for the Awards assessed the Perth Centre's product and facilities; business plans; marketing; customer service; professional development; risk management; environmental sustainability; cultural and social responsibility; and involvement in the tourism industry.

In accepting the Award, Perth Centre Chief Executive Paul D'Arcy paid tribute to the professionalism and dedication of the venue's small team of 80 fulltime staff and 420 casual employees.

"To win such a prestigious title for our first year of business is a great honour and is a direct result of the amazing contribution our people make to every event we host," Mr D'Arcy said.

"To be recognised at this level required us to meet strict quality standards and validates our ongoing push to make the Perth Centre a true success story for WA and Australian tourism."

In the venue's first 18 months, more than 840,500 visitors attended around 687 events, including 40 exhibitions and trade shows. Some 239 conferences and meetings were attended by over 47,250 delegates.

The Perth Centre's opening week saw it play host to the State's largest ever public exhibition, 'WA on Show', where a staggering 200,000 people attended to take their first glimpse inside the new venue.

Other major exhibitions to date have included the Ideal Home Show, the Perth Motor Show, the WA Wine & Food Festival and the Perth International Boat Show, each attracting tens of thousands of visitors.

A record-breaking 2,500 delegates attended the first-ever Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) held outside the Eastern States, in June 2005, with the event's overwhelming success leading to Perth securing the sought-after bid for the event's return in 2008.

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) congress for 1,300 delegates and the Royal Australasian and New Zealand College of Surgeons congress for 2,100 delegates, both held in April, were other major highlights in 2005.

Looking ahead, the venue has secured around 500 international, national and local events through until 2009, expected to attract in excess of two million visitors.

Major conventions on their way to Perth include the 4th Global Conference on Buddhism for 2,000 delegates; AAPG (American Association of Petroleum Geologists) International Conference and Exhibition for 1,200 delegates; Aged Care Association of Australia's 25th Annual Congress; and Australian Gastroenterology Week for 1,000 delegates in 2007.

Among the many forthcoming public exhibitions are the Ideal Home Show, Perth Motor Show, EveryWoman Expo & Vitality Expo, WA Wine & Food Festival, Perth International Boat Show, Craft & Quilt Fair, Hair & Beauty Salon XPO, and Australia 's largest automotive lifestyle show, Auto Salon 2006.