Keeping tourism competitive

2015 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces features ‘David Bowie is’ at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Source: ACMI.  Photo: Brian Duffy.

Richard Watts, ‘Major Events under review’ ArtsHub, 11 March 2015

White Night, Winter Masterpieces and other blockbusters are under review in an attempt to keep Victorian tourism competitive.

The Andrews Government has announced a review of Victoria’s major events program in order to ensure the state maintains its status as Australia’s major events capital.

Victoria currently attracts 2.3 million international tourists each year, equal to Queensland, thanks in part to a diverse calendar of major events including White Night Melbourne, and the blockbuster exhibition program Melbourne Winter Masterpieces – which this year focus on the career and legacy of musician David Bowie.

However, with NSW expanding its roster of major events in recent years – adding 110 sporting, cultural and lifestyle events to its calendar since 2011 – the Victorian Government is taking to steps to ensure the state remains competitive

‘We’ve got to keep our edge, retain our strength and get more tourists through the gate – because it means more jobs and a stronger state,’ said Premier Daniel Andrews.

‘Our calendar of events is the envy of the rest of the world, but we should never become complacent. If we lose our edge, we lose tourists, and, eventually, we lose jobs.’

The Victorian Visitor Economy Review is the first of its kind in nearly two decades. It will consist of a reference group led by prominent Melbourne businessman Sir Rod Eddington, Chair of the Victorian Major Events Company; and a review of the current government bodies responsible for tourism and major events conducted by audit company KPMG, together with the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

The review will study the major events of cities in Australia and overseas and will be completed by the end of April. It will explore major events, tourism, the Melbourne Convention Bureau and regional Victoria.

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