The state’s peak events industry body, the Victoria Events Industry Council (VEIC), echoes the frustration expressed by the conference and events leaders this week on learning Victoria lost a major Chinese business convention to Sydney.
VEIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith says, “Each week we are missing out on significant business opportunities simply as a result of lack of space to host these major events.
“We urge the Victorian government to commit to the expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) as it is one of our most important tourism priorities.
“MCEC is an outstanding facility for conventions and exhibitions, and contributes approximately $212 million each year to Victoria’s economy. Plus Melbourne Convention Bureau also do an excellent job at attracting business to the state.
“The venue is currently being forced to turn away business due to a lack of exhibition space. The State Government missed an important opportunity in this year’s state budget to invest in Victoria’s future through funding the extension of this important Melbourne venue.
“Events held in Melbourne have a positive flow on benefit across Victoria, with international business visitors generally staying for a number of days and often travelling outside of Melbourne.”