The Victorian Government has pumped fresh funds of AU$42.913 million (US$33 million) into the destination's existing Business Events Program — launched in April — underscoring its support to the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) and Business Events Victoria to acquire business events for the state.
These funds are to be spread over four years, indicating the government's long-term commitment which MCB CEO Julia Swanson said "recognises the essential role business events play in the Victorian visitor economy, and their contribution to innovation, job creation, trade and investment opportunities, for the benefit of the whole community".
She added that "these measures not only support the business events sector now, they also ensure we can sustain and grow the sector for the future".
In this pandemic, MCB has continued its bidding work in international markets, securing "high yield" events up to 2028. This latest round of funds will also support the local market, where interstate organisations who hold their events in Greater Melbourne before December 2022 can claim up to AU$25,000 in financial support.
The bureau indicated that it is currently managing "a very healthy pipeline of potential events" amounting to some AU$547 million worth of bids. If secured, these events hold the potential of contributing 254,000 room nights for Melbourne's hotel and accommodation sector.
On that note, CEO of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux, Andrew Hiebl, recently called upon government to forge a clear pathway to reopen Australia’s international borders — citing how Covid-related cancellations of 200 international meetings has cost the country upwards of AU$300 million in delegate spend alone.