Late last week, Melbourne announced that it has been chosen as the host city for the 2023 Rotary International Convention, a massive gathering expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors - 20,000 Rotary members from over 200 countries, to be exact. This is the most valuable conference ever won for the state. On the whole, the event is expected to inject AU$88 million (US$63 million) into the Victorian economy.
The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) led the bid aggressively by showcasing Melbourne's ability to meet stringent bid regulations. MCB also demonstrated its ability to accommodate the specific needs of Rotary delegates and the convention format.
Often described as a 'mini-United Nations' due to its global scope and cultural diversity, Rotary's International Convention will see its members exchange ideas for how to improve lives and bring positive, lasting change to communities around the world. The convention is expected to create millions of dollars in economic spinoffs, including the most significant room block in Melbourne's history for hotels guaranteeing high occupancy levels for up to 50 properties across Melbourne during the off-peak winter season. Convention events will be hosted across two venues: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne & Olympic Parks.
MCB's CEO, Karen Bolinger, had this to say about winning the bid, "Victoria is a world-leader in the business events sector, and we intentionally pursue events of this size and scale as they deliver significant benefit back to the State, as well as create further bidding opportunities from other worldwide associations that hold numerous major international conferences. The MCB's strong connections and collaboration with government and local suppliers - its 'whole-of-city' approach to winning and delivering events in Melbourne - provides invaluable support to Victoria's visitor economy."