The Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB) has announced that in excess of AUD $1 billion worth of economic benefit has been generated for the state of Victoria, as a result of international business events secured by MCVB for the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).
Karen Bolinger, Chief Executive Officer of MCVB, said reaching the AUD $1 billion mark was a major milestone in the organisation’s history.
“A total of 123 business events have been secured for the MCEC, generating an estimated 203,250 delegates, equating to approximately 1,029,900 MCEC delegate days, 778,021 room nights in Melbourne hotels, and a forecasted $567,369,613 in delegate expenditure,” said Ms Bolinger.
Approximately 39 of these events have already been held and the remainder will occur over the next seven years.
“In 2009, the MCEC was officially opened, significantly enhancing Melbourne’s capacity to host major business events and compete with leading business events cities from around the globe.
“The world’s first ‘Six Star Green Star’ environmentally-rated convention centre and the largest convention centre in the Southern Hemisphere, the MCEC offers world-class facilities, including a 5500+ seat plenary hall and 30,000 square metres of pillar-less exhibition space.”
Australia has received worldwide recognition for its convention and exhibition facilities and has been successful in attracting millions of delegates over the last two decades.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Overseas Arrivals and Departures figures, Australia welcomed 171,400 convention or conference arrivals during the year ending December 2011. This compares to 4280 for the year ending December 1991, equivalent to a 3904% increase over 20 years.
Ms Bolinger said Melbourne had contributed significantly to this growth and will continue to do so, having secured a number of prestigious international association events including The World Diabetes Congress 2013, the World Congress of Cardiology 2014 and the XX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014).
“Melbourne competes on the world stage in terms of securing high profile, international events that bring large numbers of new visitors to the region, delivering a significant economic impact to the state,” she said.
Ms Bolinger added that business events play a vital role in strengthening the city’s international profile, with the industry being a core component of the local tourism framework.
“Holding business events in Melbourne creates new and repeat visitors, attracts accompanying persons, drives regional tourism and generates economic wealth and export opportunities.
“Business events also provide ‘beyond tourism’ benefits and long lasting legacies including new business relationships; enhancement of industry sector profiles; innovations in research and technology; changing perceptions of a city, country and industry; and increased market intelligence.
“The benchmark has now been set and MCVB will continue to strive for success, bringing internationally significant conventions and congresses to the convention centre over the years to come and well into the future.”