Victoria’s racing and major events season is well and truly upon us and the events industry is entering into its busiest time of the year. This is a vibrant and exciting time in Melbourne, Greater Melbourne and Regional Victoria, attracting many visitors and impacting positively on the economy. The annual boost in funding of $20M annually, announced in May by Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews and Minister for Tourism & Major Events, John Eren, to secure major events in Melbourne and regional Victoria is an excellent indicator of the importance of this sector to the economy. The recent announcement of the return of the Presidents Cup back to Melbourne in 2019 also demonstrates our attractiveness as Australia’s events capital. We need to be vigilant in maintaining this crown.
VTIC is also in events mode as we deliver the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards for the first time on Monday 16 November, 2015. I am delighted that we have seen such a high level of industry support for the program, resulting in an increase in the number of entries compared to last year and involvement across the board.
VTIC’s aim for the Awards is to deliver them with the industry, and for the industry, as well as ensuring additional leverage opportunities for entrants, a focus on business excellence and an end result of overall improvement in the success of Victoria’s tourism and events industry.
This year we have made some changes to the program and Gala evening which those of you that are attending will be pleased and excited to see. If you haven’t booked your tickets or table, I encourage you to do so, it will be a fun evening and tickets are selling fast.
In the coming years we will continue to work on innovative ways to provide greater opportunities that showcase and profile entrants and winners and which contribute to the ongoing development of the Awards program. I applaud everyone that has entered, it is a significant commitment for all entrants, however a rewarding one which promotes business excellence in our industry.
We also have the VTIC AGM on November 11 and Industry Christmas Party on November 24, and hope to see as many of you as possible at these functions as we round up 2015.
I would also like to congratulate Bendigo on their success in hosting VTIC’s Victorian Tourism Conference in July 2016. Bendigo shows leadership as a region working collaboratively to develop rich cultural and historic tourism and event experiences and is a high quality leisure and business tourism destination. The recent announcement of Marilyn Monroe the Exhibition, opening in March 2016 is a true testament to their commitment in the cultural events space.
Lastly, I would like to thank the VTIC and VEIC Boards and staff for welcoming me into the position of Acting CE whilst Dianne Smith undertakes her secondment at Visit Victoria. The team and I are committed to continuing and building the momentum created by the organisation, progressing our policy positions and delivering for the Victorian tourism and events industry.
Acting Chief Executive