The massive expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has helped deliver $1.1 billion to the Victorian economy, attracting marquee international and national events to the banks of the Yarra.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula visited MCEC today to mark one year since the completion of the Andrews Labor Government’s $205 million expansion.
MCEC’s economic impact has grown by 12 per cent year-on-year, cementing Victoria’s reputation as a world-leading conference destination.
Business events have become the highest-yielding sector in Victoria’s visitor economy with bookings years in advance, including the Rotary International Conference which will bring 20,000 delegates to Melbourne in 2023.
Vidcon, the world’s largest online video conference, will draw 7,000 people from around the globe in September.
The Labor Government’s expansion of MCEC took its capacity to 70,000 square metres – three-and-a-half times the size of the MCG playing surface – and has been a key factor in the growth of the event economy.
The project added almost 20,000 square metres of flexible space including meeting rooms, banquet rooms and a 9,000 square metre exhibition hall, as well as the 347-room Novotel South Wharf and a multi-deck car park.
The original MCEC was opened by Jeff Kennett in 1996. “Jeff’s Shed” was expanded by the Brumby Government in 2009 while the most recent development took two years to complete and created 700 jobs in construction.
MCEC hosted just under 1,300 events last financial year and the biggest in terms of attendance was the much-loved Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal extravaganza, which saw 85,000 people flock to the centre.
Melbourne Street Eatz attracted 55,000 food lovers while the Good Food and Wine Show (30,000), Penny Arcade Expo (20,000) and Schwarzenegger-heavy Arnold Sports Festival Australia (19,000) rounded out the top five.
On Friday, MCEC will receive 6,000 delegates to the Australia-China Economic Trade and Investment Expo.
Mr Pakula today confirmed another new event on the MCEC calendar – the CODA 2020 healthcare conference which will bring up to 3,000 delegates to Victoria and inject an estimated $14 million into the economy.
As noted by Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“We’re seeing clear dividends from our investment in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, boosting the visitor economy and supporting thousands of jobs.”
“It’s one thing to have ambition but we need to be able to provide world-leading facilities to attract big events from around the globe – and that’s exactly what the new MCEC does.”
As stated by Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust Chair John Brumby
“Our expanded facility is securing serious business and is now indisputably an international major events destination of choice.”