Melbourne Cup Carnival generates record economic return for Victoria

Published: 9 May 2019

Bronze statue of Phar Lap

A new study charting the impact of the Melbourne Cup Carnival shows the 2018 event provided a record boost to the Victorian economy.

The 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival Economic Impact Study, released in April, says the economic return to the state was $447.6 million — representing a 20 per cent increase since 2014.

More than 325,000 domestic and international racegoers packed into the Flemington Racecourse across the four-day Carnival program including Derby Day, the Melbourne Cup, Oaks Day and Stakes Day with almost 35 per cent of attendees from outside Victoria.

Significant figures on visitor spend across the accommodation, retail and hospitality sectors included $31.3 million on commercial accommodation, $62.9 million retail spend on fashion and grooming, and $29.26 million on food and beverage.

The 2018 event also directly employed more than 21,000 staff and contractors who worked for more than 800 companies at Flemington in the lead-up and during the event.

These figures show that the Melbourne Cup Carnival remains one of Victoria's biggest and most economically significant major events alongside the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, AFL Finals Week and the Australian Tennis Open.

Major events like these are vital to Victoria's tourism industry and support the Victorian Visitor Economy Strategy goal of generating $36.5 billion in visitor spending by 2025.