Australia’s largest hotel chain has warned that Melbourne’s ability to compete with Sydney will slide if the city was to lose the Grand Prix.
Victoria’s economy would also suffer from lost tourism income and employment opportunities, and Melbourne would lose its “events capital” status, Accor Australia chief operating officer Simon McGrath has said.
McGrath’s comments follow recent discussions of the event’s future, held in Melbourne each year. Rumours are mounting of a potential event-share arrangement with Sydney after Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone confirmed the Grand Prix was the “least viable” of all the F1 events and would most likely be taken overseas when Melbourne’s contract expires in 2015.
The re-evaluation has sparked concerns for Melbourne’s events industry, with McGrath warning it would cause the city to lose out to its key competitors.
“The Grand Prix provides a much longer benefit to the city than just a weekend,” he said. “Losing such high profile international events could lead to a serious decline in other major events, which in turn will affect tourism income and employment.”
McGrath stressed the effects would also damage the state’s economy, noting that Accor’s Melbourne properties reached 100% occupancy during last week’s event.
“This is not just a tourism issue. Events such as the Grand Prix bring consumer confidence to the city, which then has a major multiplier effect throughout the economy,” he said. “The simple fact is that if Melbourne loses the Grand Prix, almost certainly Australia will as well, so the ramifications of any failure to renegotiate the agreement will spread far wider.”
The Victorian Government is continuing discussions regarding the future of the event, which cost tax payers an estimated $50.2 million this year.
Email the Travel Weekly team at firstname.lastname@example.org
FCTG’s Independent Division is launching their first ever global conference, bringing together independent travel agency owners and mobile advisors from across Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and South Africa. Santiago, Chile, has been revealed as the destination for the first conference, which will take place from 1 – 4 May next year. The FCTG […]