MCEC welcomes 1.6 million visitors, contributes almost A$400m to local economy

Featured image credit: Donaldytong/ CC BY-SA 3.0/ Edited for size

During the last financial year, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) helped to contribute over A$383m (£212m/$257m/€242m) to the local economy in Victoria. 

MCEC also hosted 349 events and welcomed 1.6 million visitors, including the return of international guests. 

Australia’s Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos recently tabled the MCEC’s annual report for the 2021-22 financial year, which showcased the demand for events. 

Highlights from the year include the national NAIDOC Awards, Oz Comic Con, Melbourne Art Fair and the Good Friday Appeal’s annual Kids Day Out, which attracted over 80,000 visitors. It also helped to raise a record A$22m for the Royal Children’s Hospital. 

Earlier this year also saw the return of the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME), which was the first international trade show hosted in Melbourne after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

MCEC also continued its dedication to sustainable practices, and launched a new five-year strategy as well as a commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030. The centre also donated more than 6,000kg of food through its charity partner, OzHarvest. 

This year also saw the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust, which manages MCEC, expand to operate the future Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre, opening in 2026. 

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Steve Dimopoulos, said: “Meetings, conferences and exhibitions attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to Victoria each year, increasing accommodation bookings and delivering a buzz of activity in our restaurants, bars, shops and tourism attractions.

“Melbourne is a premium business events destination and it’s great to see planners and key decision makers continue to choose Victoria for their business events, supporting businesses and jobs right across the state.”

Peter King, chief executive, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, added: “The last financial year saw MCEC begin to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 on our industry. As a business, we didn’t sit still but doubled down on our commitment to customers, the community and the environment.

“We’re now starting to see the demand for meetings and events bounce back much stronger than initially anticipated, which means we can continue to play a key role in Victoria’s economic growth.

“We can be confident these results are a sign of things to come, as we maintain momentum toward our future return to the record-breaking revenue and impact we had in the year prior to COVID-19.”