Thousands of punters are set to make the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival a safe win for Victoria’s tourism industry, with many flocking into the trendy state by train, plane and ship.
It may well be the race that stops the nation but it is certainly the carnival that jump starts Victorian tourism.
Year on year, a flock of interstate and overseas travellers have made their way to Flemington for the prestigious event, pouring an excess of revenue into the accommodation, fashion, food and beverage industries – a much needed push for Victoria’s enduring economy.
The 2012 Melbourne Cup was, according to the Victoria Racing Club, attended by 351 356 people of which a total of 67,000 were interstate and overseas visitors.
In 2013, business information analysts, IBISworld, predicted that the total Melbourne Cup Carnival spending would hit the $455.5 million mark.
The gross economic benefit to the Victorian economy in 2013 nested at $364.5 million. It attracted 56,424 event-motivated visitors. Just under 8000 extended their stays which added a large chunk to the $25.6 million the accommodation sector experienced.
We are yet to see the full, unadulterated impact the 2014 cup will have on the tourism industry.
Nonetheless, several industry giants have gone the extra distance to assure that this year’s race day week will trump the efforts of Cups past.
That is, Melbourne Cup will experience a surge from land, air and sea.
In a winning trifecta for Melbourne, three cruise ships will each spend three days berthed at Station Pier for the Spring Carnival this week, marking the single biggest injection of punters to the Melbourne Cup and pouring more than $6 million into the economy during their stay.
P&O Cruises’ Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl docked at 8am yesterday, while sister line Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Spirit will dock at 6am tomorrow. Between them, the three ships will carry about 6000 guests, accounting for an estimated 10 per cent of all people visiting Melbourne for the Cup, and about 5 per cent of total race attendees.
With the three ships each spending three consecutive days docked at Melbourne’s port, the historic cruise visit is the biggest on record for the city – a winning ticket worth an estimated $6.5 million to the State’s economy in passenger and crew expenditure, port fees and racing activity.
The cruise punters are expected to contribute approximately $3.5 million to the Melbourne Cup alone through entry and transport, which is included as part of their cruise fare, as well as a range of upgrades, betting and food and drinks at the track.
Meanwhile the 130 buses hired to transport the thousands of punters to and from Flemington cost more than $120,000 and require their own Flemington paddock to park for the day.
While we are yet to see this year’s results, an estimated 600 000 attendees, more than double the previous years, is set to make a sure bet out of Melbourne Cup 2014.
Feature Image (supplied): Pictured, reigning Myer Fashions on the Field winner, Chloe Moo and Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry.
What would be your favoured means of transport to the big race?
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