Last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival provided an important boost to the economy, especially for the sectors of hospitality, tourism, fashion and retail, according to key figures released by the Victoria Racing Club (VRC).
In a study compiled by IER, Flemington’s signature Carnival was found to have generated a value added contribution to Victoria’s gross state product of more than $176.58 million, a figure that quantifies the money spent through Victorian businesses by out-of-state visitors specifically on purchases for these racedays.
In total, the Victorian economy benefited from $366.15 million in financial stimulus (gross economic benefit) generated by the Melbourne Cup Carnival, an increase of 4.9 per cent from 2011.
Nationally, the Melbourne Cup Carnival was responsible for generating an economic benefit of more than $751 million in 2012, an increase of 0.7 per cent compared to 2011.
VRC CEO David Courtney said the numbers represented an extraordinary performance by a fully home-grown event.
“The Melbourne Cup Carnival is the original major event, which continues to significantly boost the economy to the benefit of all Australians, and particularly Victorians,” Courtney said.
“The Emirates Melbourne Cup might stop the nation, but these numbers show the Carnival really kick-starts the national economy too.”
The tourism industry experienced a particularly significant boost, with the number of out-of-state visitors who came to Victoria specifically for Flemington’s Melbourne Cup Carnival growing 19.8 per cent to 53,400, and those who extended their stay in order to attend the Carnival growing by a remarkable 49.6 per cent to 5,755. These visitors spent over $26.7 million on commercial accommodation over 175,060 bed nights.
In total, the ‘celebration that stops a nation™’ was attended by 134,911 out-of-state visitors (113,666 interstate and 21,246 international), who made up nearly 37 per cent of the 351,356 racegoers who attended the four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Fashion spending increased with racegoers spending $29.6 million ($28.5 million in 2011) in Victoria on fashion items to wear to the Melbourne Cup Carnival, representing an average spend of $160.03 (up 3.9 per cent) for each racegoer at Flemington.
The number of fashion items purchase in 2012 increased by 10.9 per cent. Male racegoers indicated that on average they purchased 1.2 items each while females purchased 2.6 items each.
In total, more than 65,000 hats and fascinators, 54,000 pairs of shoes, 53,000 dresses, 26,000 handbags, 23,000 items of jewellery, 29,000 ties, 14,000 pairs of sunglasses, 11,000 items of underwear, 14,000 pairs of socks and pantihose and 17,000 suits were specifically purchased to wear trackside at the 2012 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Emirates Melbourne Cup continues to stop the nation with over 95.7 per cent of all metropolitan in-home televisions switched on at 3pm (Australian EST) tuned into the race. Nearly five million people (4.85 milllion) watched all or part of Channel Seven’s coverage. Those viewers and millions more around the world witnessed the field, which included eight internationals, contest the $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup, the richest handicap in the world.
Tickets for the 2013 Melbourne Cup Carnival are on-sale through Ticketek.com.au.