Last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival delivered a record boost to our visitor economy and drew record numbers of visitors to Victoria.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren joined Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Chair Amanda Elliott today to release the 2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival economic impact study.

The report shows the four-race day event injected $427.1 million into our economy – up 10.1 per cent from the previous year.

More than 330,000 people flocked to Flemington to enjoy the flagship carnival, including 119,367 from out of state.

Visitors spent $38.3 million on accommodation – that’s 234,104 bed nights booked – with more people choosing to stay in Melbourne longer to see the very best our state has to offer.

Racegoers spent big on shopping and clothes, splashing more than $44.3 million on retail and fashion (up 6% on 2015).

Along with activations on Weibo and WeChat, VRC mounted the biggest tourism push ever staged in China. As a result, 1.5 million viewers in China tuned in to watch the race.

Over the past three years, more than 21,000 cruise ship passengers have come to Victoria to attend the Carnival, generating more than $32 million for our economy.

The report proves how important events like these are for supporting local businesses, strengthening our books, and for the 20,000 staff and contractors who were employed to make it all happen.

It’s why the Andrews Labor Government is working to boost visitor spending through our Victorian Visitor Economy Strategy to $36.5 billion by 2025, creating even more jobs in the sector.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival generates big numbers for Victoria, attracting thousands of visitors from far and wide who see first-hand that we really do have the best of everything.”

“Its benefits are felt right across our state – creating jobs, filling our hotels, and keeping our local shops, cafes, bars and restaurants buzzing.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Racing Martin Pakula

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival is one of the most iconic racing events in the world. It’s a major tourist drawcard which provides a huge economic boost for Victoria and creates thousands of local jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Victoria Racing Club Chair Amanda Elliott

“The four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival are the four most attended anywhere in Australia, with the event providing an economic benefit to Victoria of more than $425 million.”  

2016 Fun Facts:

  • Broadcast into 163 territories worldwide
  • Simulcast in Hong Kong and for the first time Japan
  • Live streamed to a global audience on Twitter, in the first Twitter live streaming deal anywhere in the world outside the United States
  • #MelbourneCup Twitter hashtag reached number one in 25 locations
  • 13 million total Snap views on Snapchat
  • A total of 511 horses competed in 37 races, including 25 international horses that travelled to Melbourne
  • The number of New Zealand visitors rose for the third consecutive year, up 42% on 2013
  • For the second consecutive year, four cruise ships docked in Melbourne for the event, delivering almost 8,000 cruise ship visitors (growth of 111 per cent since 2012)
  • The purchase of 295,397 individual fashion items including 49,067 pairs of shoes, 46,448 dresses, 11,659 suits and 59,665 hats and fascinators
  • $23.55 million in spending on meals, food and beverages, $32.86 million on fashion, and $11.56 million on grooming.
  • A 7.8 per cent increase in the number of out-of-state individuals (80,472) attending the Melbourne Cup Carnival; including 65,038 event motivated attendees (up 21.8% on 2012) and 5,494 extended stay visitors (up 45.3% on 2015)