DUBAI– The Australian state of Victoria will host an unprecedented number of international sporting, arts, cultural and trade events between 9 January and 29 March 2015 as part of the 80 Days of Melbourne initiative launched today by Victorian Premier Denis Napthine.
“The State Government of Victoria has developed a coordinated business hosting initiative, designed to maximise the trade and investment benefits of these events to the state,” Dr Napthine said.
The initiative, led by Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and the Hon Ted Baillieu MP, plans to attract high profile, senior international business leaders to Melbourne to secure international investment and jobs for the state.
The Victorian Government will team up with the Victorian business community to invite up to 50 global business leaders to attend events of their choice over the 80 days.
Whilst in Victoria, the global business leaders will network with Victorian businesses, discussing opportunities for trade, cooperation, or to set up offices in Melbourne.
“80 Days of Melbourne provides a great opportunity to drive growth, investment and jobs by taking advantage of this unrivalled calendar of events,” Dr Napthine said.
“The Opening Ceremony of the Asian Football Cup in January and the final of the cricket World Cup in March bookend an incredible 80 Day calendar of sport, arts and culture for Melbourne and Victoria.
“Victoria will also host the inaugural Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Jean Gaultier Art Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria.”
Mr Ryan said that the 80 Days of Melbourne sees government and business working as a team, leveraging our strength in major events to build our strength in business.
“It’s through innovative teamwork like this that the State Government of Victoria is building a better Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.
“80 days of Melbourne will give our first class businesspeople the chance to network with global business leaders and show them that Victoria, with its AAA rated economy, is the best place in the world to do business.
“Investments and partnerships with businesses overseas mean more and better jobs for Victorians.
“80 Days of Melbourne complements our investment attraction and assistance programs which we run out of the Office of State Development, which have created 20,000 jobs since 2010.
“It also complements the 76 trade missions the State Government of Victoria has run since 2011, which have involved 3,100 Victorian businesses and achieved A$4.6 billion in export sales,” Mr Ryan said.
The Asian Football Cup, Cricket World Cup, Australian Tennis Open, and Australian Formula One Grand Prix alone attract a combined TV audience of around 2 billion viewers.
80 Days of Melbourne includes:
AFC Asian Cup 2015 (seven matches) 9 – 22 January
Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier @ NGV 9 January – 8 February
Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam 19 January – 1 February
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 31 January & 1 February
ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 (five matches) 14 February – 29 March
Chinese New Year Celebrations 19 – 22 February
White Night 21 February
Melbourne Festival of Racing 21 February, 7 & 14 March
Superbike World Championship 20 – 22 February
Avalon International Airshow 24 February – 1 March
Melbourne International Food and Wine Festival 27 February – 15 March
Australian F1 Grand Prix 12 – 15 March
Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival 14 – 22 March
Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 25 – 29 March
Melbourne International Comedy Festival 25 – 29 March
“Our unrivalled major events calendar, great health system, excellent education system and road and rail network all played a part in our great city taking out this award for the fourth year,” Dr Napthine said.
“Our events drive tourism in the state. Tourism is Victoria’s most important industry, directly contributing more than A$19.6 billion to the State’s economy each year and more than 200,000 jobs.”
A report by Ernst and Young shows that Victoria’s major events contributed A$1.8 billion to the economy this year, and attracted almost 300,000 interstate and international visitors.
The re-signing of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix contract for another five years, the new Margaret Court Arena construction, and the A$298 million investment in Stage 2 of the Melbourne Park Redevelopment further strengthen Melbourne’s position as the sporting capital of Australia and one of the world’s ultimate sporting cities.