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Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Acting CEO Julian Sullivan today (Thursday) announced the economic impacts of the 2013 Melbourne Cup Carnival, which contributed a value-added contribution to Victoria’s gross state product of $177.5 million.

The figure, up 0.5 per cent on the previous year, quantifies the money spent through Victorian businesses by interstate and international visitors who were in the state specifically to attend the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington.

“This is money that would not have flowed into Victoria without the Melbourne Cup Carnival, benefitting all Victorians and the tourism, fashion, retail and hospitality sectors in particular,” Mr Sullivan said.

“The results highlight that the Melbourne Cup Carnival is not just an iconic event of sporting and cultural significance, but is also of great importance to the Victorian economy.

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival is the world’s most vibrant racing event, and by most measures also the biggest. It is something all Australians can be proud of.”

The study, undertaken by IER, found the 2013 Melbourne Cup Carnival was responsible for:

· $364.5 million of gross economic benefit to the Victorian economy

· Attracting 56,424 event motivated visitors to Victoria, with 48,665 travelling specifically and 7,759 extending their stays to attend the event

· $25.6 million in accommodation spending in Victoria over nearly 176,000 bed-nights

· $53.1 million in retail spending in Victoria, of which $23.8 million was contributed by event motivated visitors

· $31.4 million (or $171.88 per racegoer) of spending in Victoria on fashion items specifically to wear to the Carnival

· The purchase of more than 62,000 hats and fascinators, 60,000 pairs of shoes, 50,000 dresses, 30,000 items of jewellery, 27,000 ties, 21,000 handbags, 18,000 suits, 17,000 items of underwear, 14,000 shirts, 11,000 pairs of sunglasses and 13,000 pairs of socks and pantihose.

Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher said the Melbourne Cup Carnival – which was the winner of the Major Festivals and Events category at the Australian Tourism Awards in February – is a global ambassador for Victoria and positions Melbourne as the events capital of the world.

“These results underline the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s importance as a significant economic contributor to Victoria and as a cornerstone of our state’s unrivalled major sporting and cultural events program, which drives year-round visitation to Melbourne,” Ms Asher said.

“Not only does the Carnival continue to attract large numbers of visitors from interstate and beyond, it provides an annual boost for our retail sector, particularly in food and fashion.”

The four Melbourne Cup Carnival racedays were again easily the four most attended in Australia.

In total, 331,196 racegoers attended with 95,223 on AAMI Victoria Derby Day, 104,169 on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day, 66,757 on Crown Oaks Day and 65,047 on Emirates Stakes Day.

Mr Sullivan said the 2013 Melbourne Cup Carnival was an international success story.

“A home-grown event, the Melbourne Cup Carnival is now an international drawcard attracting world-class horses, trainers, and jockeys – as well as royalty and style icons – to Flemington.

“The Emirates Melbourne Cup stops the nation, but the Carnival does anything but for the economy and promotion of our city.

“The VRC is proud to work with the Victorian government to drive visitation and economic impact and stimulus to the state through the Melbourne Cup Carnival,” Mr Sullivan said.

Eight of the 2013 Carnival’s 37 races were contested by internationally trained horses, while nine international runners competed in the Emirates Melbourne Cup, the world’s richest turf race. Three of the full field of 24 runners were owned by royalty, with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, and the Aga Khan IV having runners. Sheikh Fahad and Princess Zahra Aga Khan were at Flemington for the race.

But the iconic three-handled trophy was ultimately won by a diverse syndicate of 28 Australians realising every owner’s ultimate dream.

The Emirates Melbourne Cup is now broadcast into 163 territories, promoting the event and Melbourne around the globe. Locally, the Emirates Melbourne Cup continues to stop the nation with more than 3.2 million home viewers tuning into the race despite it being a work day in most of Australia. Channel 7’s 2013 Melbourne Cup Carnival coverage was awarded the Logie for Most Outstanding Sports Coverage on Sunday.

The 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival runs from 1-8 November with tickets available at ticketek.com.au/melbournecupcarnival.

 
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