The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) has appointed Dr Leo Jago (pictured), OAM, as the new independent chair of the peak industry body.
Dr Jago has a strong research background in business events and the visitor economy. He is widely recognised for his leadership in the inaugural National Business Events Study as deputy CEO and director for research of the Co-operative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism. He also helped establish the UNWTO guidelines for assessing the economic impact of business events and was heavily involved in the early work to identify the ‘beyond tourism’ value of business events.
For much of the last 20 years, Dr Jago has been a professor and director of tourism-related research centres at universities in Australia and the UK. He also spent three years as the inaugural chief economist and general manager of Tourism Research Australia where he was responsible for the establishment and management of Australia’s national tourism research agenda.
Dr Jago currently runs a consultancy that focuses on business events. In 2016, Dr Jago was awarded an OAM in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to the tourism industry and education.
Dr Jago said: “Covid-related lockdowns and border closures have decimated the business events industry over the last two years. Not only do business events have a large direct economic impact, they also underpin the performance of many other sectors of the economy.
“I am delighted to be taking on this role with BECA as I believe that the peak body will be instrumental in helping drive the recovery of business events and building Australia’s economy.”
Dr Vanessa Findlay had stepped down as independent chair of BECA in June 2021.