Melbourne secures GP for five years

The Victorian government has negotiated a deal to keep the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne until 2020 and the announcement has been welcomed by the accommodation industry.

The Accommodation Association of Australia is thrilled that the Victorian Government has secured the grand prix in Melbourne through to 2020. “It is terrific that the Victorian government has chosen to continue its commitment to the Melbourne grand prix,” said the association’s chief executive officer, Richard Munro.

The grand prix is a marquee event for Melbourne and attracts a global following. It really bolsters the Melbourne brand and puts it on the map as the sporting capital of the country, and indeed the world.

Melbourne’s major accommodation hotels have warmly welcomed the news and congratulated the Grand Prix Corporation and chairman Ron Walker for negotiating another five-year agreement. Spokesperson for Tourism Accommodation Australia (Vic), Darryl Washington, stated, “Not only does the grand prix have a strong positive impact on a hotels economic performance and employment, and its suppliers such as butchers, bakers, fruiters, florists, laundries etc, but also further spreads the benefits through the community stimulating restaurants, airlines, taxis, retailers and more,” said Mr Washington.

TAA believes the successful staging of the grand prix over many years has been significant in attracting other events to Melbourne as well as being a great marketing tool both directly and indirectly for Victoria that can’t rely on icons such as the Harbour Bridge, Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef to attract tourist’s attention in a competitive and overcrowded market.

Tourism & Transport Forum says it’s a boon for Australian tourism, with the race bringing in between $70 and $80 million in total economic benefits for Victoria.

“The Formula 1 grand prix gives people a reason to travel, with many guests extending their stay and participating in other activities as well,” TTF acting chief executive officer Trent Zimmerman said.

Last year’s race cost Victorian taxpayers $50 million but the state government hasn’t revealed the cost of the new contract.

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