Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) Chief Executive, Dianne Smith:
- VTIC calls on the State Government to fund the expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).
- MCEC turns away 17 per cent of potential clients due to lack of capacity.
- VTIC has been a consistent advocate of the need for this project and the VTIC 2014 – 15 state budget submission encourages the government to prioritise funding for this expansion.
- Business events are vital to Victoria, as they contribute $1.2 billion to the economy and are responsible for 22,000 jobs.
- Work recently commenced on Sydney’s convention and exhibition centre renovation, so if the MCEC expansion does not go ahead Victoria will lose a significant amount of business to NSW.
- Losing business events to Sydney would mean Victoria loses the very high return on investment benefits that business events provide to the events and associated sectors.
- Victoria’s priority sectors, such as health and medical research, greatly benefit from the array of worldwide industry leaders that congregate in Melbourne for events, such as for the recent Diabetes world conference or the upcoming AIDS conference.
- There is also significant flow-on benefit for local businesses such as hotels and restaurants.