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Melbourne ranks highly in new Australian business events study

Melbourne and the State of Victoria has ranked highly in a new Australian study on the business events industry…

Melbourne and the State of Victoria has ranked highly in a new Australian study on the business events industry released today by the Business Events Council of Australia.

The National Business Events Study (NBES) found that Melbourne and the State of Victoria hosted more than 88,500 business events at 360 venues in 2003, with over 5.4 million delegates, contributing AUS$3.4 billion in direct expenditure to the economy, three times more than when last surveyed in 1999.

Nationally, a total of 19.9 million delegates participated in meetings and conferences in Australia in 2003 for a total expenditure of AUS$11.5 billion.

Victoria ranked highly with a market share of 25% of business events in Australia, followed by Queensland with a 20%. New South Wales had 27% of the market.

The study also found that Melbourne is the most popular destination for business event delegates to visit, prior to or following a conference or event. Seventeen percent of pre and post tours in Australia are to Melbourne.

“The study shows that Melbourne is a major player in the business events industry which includes meetings, conferences, exhibitions and incentive travel in Australia,” said Garry Kingshott, CEO, Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB).

The study also confirms that the largest area of potential growth lies with international business visitors.

“The Victoria Government’s $367 million commitment to a new convention centre has already allowed Melbourne to win a 4,000 delegate international convention against fierce competitors such as Santiago and Istanbul,” Mr Kingshott said.

Victorian Tourism Minister John Pandazopoulos said the new 5,000-seat Convention Centre would give Melbourne the facility it currently lacks, to attract some of the largest conventions in the world from the highest spending business delegates.

“Victoria is well positioned to take an even larger market share of business events in Australia. The new Convention Centre, to be opened in 2008, will make Melbourne the destination of choice in the global convention market.”

On average, one international business event visitor to Australia spends AUS$3,526 per trip, based on an average 7.6 night stay, versus an international leisure visitor spending AUS$2,569 per trip over an average period of 27.4 nights. 46% of international delegates had not previously been to Australia.

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