Australian Open a bigger corporate crowd-puller than the AFL, Melbourne Cup and Boxing Day Test

australian open

The Australian Open has come out on top as Melbourne’s most popular sporting event among corporate travellers, according to new Corporate Traveller data.

Flight, ground transport and hotel booking data has revealed that Australian Open crowds will continue to grow, with forecast bookings at 21 per cent on last year.

Corporate Traveller recorded 725 per cent more bookings to the 2023 Australian Open than to the 2023 Boxing Day Test, 73 per cent more than to the AFL Grand Final and 56 per cent more than to the Melbourne Cup.

When it comes to international corporate bookings to the four main events, the Australian Open is also a clear winner. Corporate Traveller recorded 89 per cent more international bookings for Melbourne during the Australian Open than the Melbourne Cup, 46 per cent more than the AFL Grand Final and nine per cent more than the Boxing Day Test.

Corporate Traveller recorded 11 per cent more domestic corporate bookings to the 2023 Melbourne Cup than to the AFL Grand Final. However, when it came to international corporate bookings, the AFL Grand Final trumped Melbourne Cup, with 30 per cent more bookings.

Bookings for the 2024 Australian Open are already 21 per cent higher than Corporate Traveller’s 2023 bookings. The Australian Open broke attendance records in 2023, welcoming 839,192 fans through the gates over the tournament.

Among those arriving in Melbourne during the Australian Open this year, the highest proportion of bookings from a single city came from Sydney (29% of total bookings), followed by Brisbane (16%), Adelaide (9%), Perth (9%), Canberra (2%), and outside of Australia (14%). Sydney also tallied the most bookings during Melbourne’s other three big-ticket sporting events.

This year, the top international origin cities attracting corporate travellers to the Australian Open in order of booking volumes are Auckland, Dubai, Singapore, Los Angeles, Doha, Christchurch and Wellington.

“Melbourne Park may not have the same seating capacity as Melbourne’s other three main sporting events at the MCG and Flemington, but it has everything else on its side to draw the biggest crowds,” said Tom Walley, Corporate Traveller’s Australian-based Global Managing Director.

“Many corporate travellers have booked fares well in advance to avoid holiday airfare price increases. These events are also the perfect opportunity to blend business travel with leisure. With Melbourne being home to several sporting events, business travellers can network and host their clients, while also offering tickets as an employee incentive.”