MCEC generates $383m impact as event recovery gains pace


Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) contributed over $383 million to the Victorian economy, hosted 349 events and welcomed 1.6 million visitors in the last financial year.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos this week tabled MCEC’s annual report for the 2021/22 financial year, demonstrating a growing demand for events.

MCEC’s event numbers, delegate attendance and economic impact for the year continued to trend up after the venue reopened to events in earnest in late 2021.

Highlights during the financial year included the national NAIDOC Awards, Oz Comic Con, Melbourne Art Fair and the Good Friday Appeal’s annual Kids Day Out, which attracted more than 80,000 visitors and helped raise a record $22 million for the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Early 2022 also saw the return of the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event, marking the first international tradeshow hosted in Melbourne following the reopening of international borders.

“Melbourne is a premium business events destination and it’s great to see planners and key decision makers continue to choose Victoria for their business events, supporting businesses and jobs right across the state,” said Dimopoulos.

Peter King, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s CEO, said the last financial year saw the venue begin to recover from the impacts of Covid-19.

“We’re now starting to see the demand for meetings and events bounce back much stronger than initially anticipated, which means we can continue to play a key role in Victoria’s economic growth,” he said.

“We can be confident these results are a sign of things to come, as we maintain momentum toward our future return to the record-breaking revenue and impact we had in the year prior to Covid-19.”

Victoria’s overall tourism industry is continuing to rebound strongly, with new research showing the state’s tourism industry has recovered 4.9 percentage points in total expenditure market share, giving Victoria the highest percentage of market share across Australia with the state’s visitor economy now worth $26.5 billion.

According to Tourism Research Australia’s National Visitor Survey (NVS) and International Visit Survey (IVS), total tourism spend in Victoria has returned to 84 per cent of the pre-pandemic level with visitors back to 78 per cent of the pre-pandemic activity.

NVS results also show total domestic spend now exceeds the pre-pandemic year ending September 2019 by 5 per cent to reach $24 billion, with very strong growth of 78 per cent year-on-year. In comparison, total domestic visitors are back to 80 per cent of the pre-pandemic level, with 33 per cent year-on-year growth.

Regional Victoria continues to deliver strong results, with domestic overnight spend in regional Victoria up by 35 per cent at $9.6 billion, representing a significant increase from $7.1 billion in the year ending September 2019.

Visit Victoria CEO Brendan McClements said the state had secured a “remarkable line up of major and business events”.

“It’s pleasing to see that visitors are flooding back to Victoria to experience our incredible food, culture, creativity, nature and events,” he said.