Racegoers at Emirates Stakes Day at Flemington

Melbourne Cup Carnival delivers record economic benefit

The 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival economic impact study has once again highlighted the substantial contribution made by the home grown event to the Victorian economy.

The Carnival contributed a record $444.5 million in gross economic benefit to the state last year; a 4.1% increase on 2016 and a 22% boost since 2013.

The value-added contribution, a measure of money spent by visitors to Victoria, also saw a new record, with the 2017 figure reaching $225.8 million. This was up 4.4% on 2016, reinforcing the Carnival’s status as a major drawcard for interstate and international visitors.

Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Chairman Amanda Elliott said the Melbourne Cup Carnival is a resounding success story.

“This is Australia’s original major event and the Carnival has a positive economic impact on the state that is unrivalled by any other sporting event in the nation,” Mrs Elliott said.

“The four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival are the four most attended racedays in Australia, with the event providing an economic benefit to Victoria of more than $444 million.

“Such a sizable dollar amount filters right through the economy to sectors such as tourism, retail and fashion, hospitality and accommodation. Many jobs are created and supported state-wide through the business of Cup week.”

Each year, the VRC assigns an independent body to analyse the performance of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. 

Data compiled by IER found the 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival was also responsible for:
A 2.1% increase in the number of out-of-state individuals (82,200) attending the Melbourne Cup Carnival; including 72,202 event motivated attendees (up 11% on 2016) 
Growth in the number of visitors from Asia (up 60.8%), North America (up 95.3%) and Europe (up 11.7%)
$39.4 million in commercial accommodation spending in Victoria (up from $38.3 million in 2016) over 269,050 bed nights (up 14.9% on 2016)
In conjunction with P&O Cruises and Carnival Australia, cruise ship passengers attending the Carnival increased from 7,971 in 2016 to 8,720 in 2017, contributing nearly $11 million in value added impact
$56.9 million in retail spending (including fashion and grooming) in Victoria (up 2% on 2016)
The purchase of 326,864 individual fashion items including 50,664 pairs of shoes, 48,585 dresses, 15,474 suits and 55,739 hats and fascinators
$27.1 million in spending on meals, food and beverages, and $44.8 million on wagering.

The 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival was also responsible for:
The employment of more than 20,000 staff and contractors working for more than 900 companies at Flemington in the lead-up and during the event
Attracting 16 international horses, including seven from Ireland, four from the UK, and two from Germany.

2017 Melbourne Cup statistics of note:
Broadcast into 163 territories worldwide
Live national coverage for the first time into the USA through a partnership between the VRC and Fox Sports 1 US
Live streamed to a global audience on Twitter for the second year, reaching 1.6 million global total unique viewers
#MelbourneCup Twitter hashtag reached number one in five countries
6.39 million total Snap views on Snapchat
7.03million in viewership generated across Chinese social media platforms.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren said the economic benefits of the Melbourne Cup Carnival cannot be underestimated.

“This report shows how important major events are to our economy – keeping our tourism numbers healthy, which delivers more jobs for Victorians and that is what it is all about.”

Mrs Elliott said after a spectacular 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival, this year’s event is already shaping up to be even bigger and better.

“The VRC funds the Melbourne Cup Carnival at a cost of $50 million annually and we strive to ensure that every Carnival is better than the last. This applies to every aspect; the racing, the food and beverage, the facilities and the entertainment. We’re confident we’ll achieve that again this year.

“A highlight of 2018 will be the opening of the world-class $128 million Club Stand which will provide racegoers with an unrivalled raceday experience and will ensure Flemington’s contribution to the economy continues to grow.”

Tickets, including dining and hospitality packages, for the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival will go on sale in March through Flemington.com.au.