In a triple win for the State of Victoria, Melbourne has been chosen as the host city for three high-profile business events: The International Trade Union Congress 2022, The International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health 2022 and The International Geographical Congress 2028. All three conferences are coming to Australia thanks to the efforts of the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), the Victorian government, City of Melbourne and Business Events Australia.
These high-profile business events will deliver a combined A$24.8m economic contribution to the state, almost 15,000 room nights and drive 3,750 delegates through the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre doors.
Professor Ian D Rutherfurd, School of Geography, University of Melbourne commented on the IGC event for 2028: “The University of Melbourne and Institute of Australian Geographers were delighted to learn that Melbourne had won the bid to host the International Geographical Congress in 2028. This is one of the premier geography events of the world, and importantly, it has only once been held in the Southern Hemisphere.
Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Congress, added: “We are extremely pleased to be able to hold the 5th World Congress of the ITUC in Melbourne in cooperation with the ACTU, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Not only is Melbourne an ideal host city for an international congress, the city has a particular resonance for us due to its long and proud history of trade union activity, including being the first place where workers won the eight-hour day, in 1856.”
Australia’s business events sector has been significantly impacted by coronavirus and, since the onset of the pandemic, the majority of events scheduled for 2020 have been postponed or cancelled, a process that has taken a heavy toll on many players in the industry.
Melbourne Convention Bureau chief executive officer Julia Swanson said that, despite a challenging landscape, MCB “continues to secure international business events for Melbourne which will play a significant role in Victoria’s economic recovery in the years ahead.
“News of these timely wins will provide a boost in the sector, instil ongoing confidence in attracting international business events to Victoria, and acknowledge their positive impact on the visitor economy, including boosting hotel occupancy, visitation to attractions and restaurants and dispersal across regional Victoria.”
MCB reported it is continuing to identify, negotiate and secure the business events pipeline spanning out as far as 2028.
“MCB has worked tirelessly with our clients to reschedule their business events, rather than cancel. We’ve had success here, with 70% of planned events rescheduled to next year, subject to the opening timeline for Australian borders,” Swanson added.
Victoria state posted 27 July, however, a new daily record of 532 Covid-19 cases and six deaths as infection rates spike. Melbourne is already in a six-week lockdown and mask-wearing in Australia’s second-largest city became compulsory last week.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said the biggest source of the new infections is people continuing to go to work after showing symptoms.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there has been significant community transmission in Victoria and that it would “take some time to get on top of it”.