Darryl Washington of the Australian Hotels Association today issued the following statement re the future of the Grand Prix in Melbourne
Comments in the weekend papers that the grand prix is no longer worth its cost to Melbourne is wrong on several counts.
Firstly, it is too simplistic to calculate the economic value or so called loss to the taxpayer by calculating government direct spending less Grand Prix revenue.
What is not taken into account is the huge economic benefit generated to business and additional employment and taxes that flow.
The Grand Prix is an extremely important cornerstone to many Melbourne businesses and hotels viability. Hotels enjoyed an extremely strong weekend which have a very significant. economic flow on effect to hotel suppliers like butchers, bakers, florists, laundries, newsagents as well as restaurants, retailers and taxis amongst others.
Apart from the major contribution to hotels direct business income and bottom line, the international attention major events like the Grand Prix receive also encourages investment in new hotels for Melbourne and provides the economic rationale for existing hotels to renovate, refurbish and enable Melbourne to keep up to world standard.
Secondly, the Grand Prix has been a great marketing tool both directly and indirectly for Victoria, which can’t rely on the harbour bridge, rock, reef or any other icon to attract tourist’s attention in a competitive and overcrowded market
Also, the relatively small marketing funds that Tourism Australia and Tourism Victoria have to promote Australia to an international market, mean that the Grand Prix is our major international exposure each year and is the major promoter of the Melbourne brand.
Also, what is not measured in economic impact statements is the flow on effect events have, in that many tourists visiting Melbourne will typically stay in Melbourne and Victoria for considerably longer, before or after the event or visit at another time.
Other intangible benefits are that the buzz and party atmosphere that spread across the city benefits not only tourists attending the event, but also Melburnians.
The Grand Prix was the first major event attracted to Victoria and was the catalyst to attract more events which has and still allows Victoria to position itself as the “Events Capital of Australia.’ It is a hard event to replace!
If we lose it, many other cities will line up to take it and reap the benefits.
Related media articles
Premier dodges the call to dump costly grand prix – The Age 24th January
Walker blasts Doyle’s ‘dump the GP’ call – The Age 24th January