Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Hon John Eren has referenced the strong positive growth in Victoria’s tourism sector during a breakfast with industry stakeholders at Sheraton Melbourne Hotel.
During his address at the Destination Melbourne CEO Breakfast, Minister Eren referenced the industry’s pivotal role in ensuring that Victoria is leading Australia in growth in gross state product (up 3.3 per cent year on year), a key metric that determines the value added to an economy of a particular activity. Other key observations Minister Eren made were:
- There has been an increase in spend of $2.2b on overnight accommodation, reinforcing the importance of giving visitors to Victoria a reason, to stay ‘one more night’ during their visit.
- Tourism related spending in Victoria is forecast to grow from $23b in 2016/17 to $36.5b by 2025, a trend that will drive an increase in employment within the sector of 110,000 people (from 210,000 to 320,000 people).
- The importance of Melbourne’s two curfew-free airports, where Melboure’s Tullamarine Airport welcomed $35.5m passengers in 2017, including 9.9m international visitors.
- The government’s continuing focus on attracting further direct flights to Melbourne, particularly from China, Japan and Korea, referencing that each additional direct flight adds $100m to Victoria’s economy.
- The government’s $62m annual investment to continue to attract the best major events to Melbourne.
- The importance of the need for investors to retain confidence in the growth of the sector and continue to invest in hotel projects, that have seen 8,500 rooms built since the Andrews Government was elected.
- The challenge for the tourism sector of asserting its legitimacy as a career option, including the need to work with training providers to increase employee’s knowledge base, relevant certification and ensure they are remunerated accordingly.
- The high yielding nature of business events, where delegates spend an average of $1,000 per delegate, per day (by comparison, he referenced that sports fans spend an average of $300 each).
- Record attendance figures for the Australian Open tennis tournament, for the forth consecutive year at 743,000 fans in 2018.
- The multiplier effect of the Australian Open, whereby the businesses of primary producers in regional Victoria receive a significant boost over the two week period of the tournament.
- A record number of visitors recorded for Melbourne’s recent ‘White Night’ event of 600,000 people.
- The strength of Victoria’s major event pipeline including the ‘Mandela My Life’ exhibition; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the 2019 President’s Cup golf tournament (for a record third occasion) and the forthcoming hosting of the men’s and women’s finals at the T20 Cricket World Cup in 2020.
- The Victorian Government’s investment of $40m in St Kilda’s Junction Oval and $75m in Geelong’s GMHBA stadium, to position it as ‘the MCG of regional Victoria.’ The Minister referenced that this investment was warranted, given the fact every dollar invested in sporting activities saves the economy $4 in health prevention.
- The importance of continued investment in regional accommodation infrastructure and Melbourne’s Avalon Airport (Air Asia commencing twice daily, direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Avalon soon), to attract high yielding visitors to regional Victoria.
- The government’s $10m investment in a feasibility study for the airport rail link, likely to begin construction once the Melbourne Metro Rail Project has been completed in 2026.