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Boon for tourism: Melbourne to keep Australian Grand Prix

Boon for tourism: Melbourne to keep Australian Grand Prix    melbGP.jpgThe Victorian Government has signed a deal to keep F1 in Melbourne until 2020 despite rumours that it might be scrapped or moved elsewhere.

Last year’s race cost Victorian taxpayers $50 million and the event has been held at Albert Park since 1996, when it moved from Adelaide.

The Victorian Government hasn’t revealed the cost of the contract but the 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.

“The Grand Prix is an iconic event for the city and each year attracts tens of thousands of additional visitors from interstate and overseas.

“These visitors stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, go shopping, visit attractions and spend money on a range of other goods and services.

“Many will take additional trips to regional destinations around the state, helping to support the jobs of 200,000 people who work in tourism across Victoria.”

Do you agree with the TTF? Is the Grand Prix ultimately a good thing for Melbourne and Victoria? Or is it a drag on taxpayers? 

Images via Getty

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  1. Andrew Smith
    4 Aug 14
    9:14 pm
  2. Originally pre digital it was, although personally I did not agree at first, my mind was changed later because the result was the ‘Melbourne’ by line turning up in international media. This created awareness for those outside of Australia who knew nothing of Melbourne.

    However, I am not so sure that it is still needed, as we now have digital economy and commensurate digital marketing (i.e. SEO, social media etc.) that can be easily leveraged creating visibility for Melbourne, all year round for much lower budgets.

    Case in point, TA has done good stuff, not just about digital campaigns, but ongoing visibility of TA, and offshore partners, while via the ATDW encouraging more use of digital marketing related tools by onshore travel and tour businesses.

    Any tourist or travel business in Australia, no matter how small, can have a significant profile, and be found, if they bother to develop, cooperate on and implement a good digital marketing strategy.

    When TA is found online via various languages in various countries, any prospective can be linked up with local expertise in Aussie Specialists, who can assist in local language (plus these same agent web links are very high quality for reciprocal links and ‘digital juice’ liked by Google), receive visa assistance etc..

    On the other hand, when QLD tourism, or any other state tourism body do campaigns, or are found (generally by chance in English), there is no system of dealing with prospectives offshore, i.e. one finds their website, but no local agent contact details, just old ‘colonial’ state office addresses…..

    Further evidence of how many senior or commissioning directors in Oz simply do not get digital, and for international marketing seems to condone budgets being spent on one off events and campaigns, preferably offshore….

  3. BTN ed 1
    5 Aug 14
    7:50 am
  4. Firstly, I am not a Victorian tax payer, however….

    Not sure I totally agree with Andrew – digital marketing, SEO, social media are all very useful but suggesting spending the $50 million spent on not hosting a annual major sporting event and instead spending it on these items will create better value for Melbourne and Victoria in the longer term? I just don’t think so.

    There is still major value in other methods of mass marketing. I would expect that by hosting this event alone that all news channels across the globe will have some reference to the Grand Prix over the weekend. I don’t know the stats but i am pretty certain that more people have access to a tv than the internet so it has a bigger potential reach in terms of getting Melbourne and Australia seen and entice people to want to travel to Australia.

    The additional indirect digital benefit from news articles, reports, bloggers and social media are all valuable – indexed, original content – from a variety of sources – invaluable.

    Appreciate your point about all year round marketing – but i don’t think this is relevant, you really think people can be encouraged or persuaded to come to Melbourne at this time of year when its cold and grey?

    The internet and social media are good and can be used effectively to market any business – but can they replace a global international sporting event..I don’t think so.

    And after watching the 20 minute tourism presentation by the Gold Coast at the closing ceremony at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, I am sure there are others in tourism marketing who agree.

  5. Andrew Smith
    5 Aug 14
    6:18 pm
  6. I’m not proposing the spending of the same amount again, just tightening up what VisitVictoria and other state bodies do with their marketing i.e. digital or even more so, SEO is cumulative, so any marketing resource remains, events start and finish…. and focusing upon organic events ith reinventing the wheel.

    Events are essential, but not those that seem more about big face for commissioners…. and think Melbourne does well now coordinating various events all year round (many people do not have an issue with weather if they are doing cultural things),


  7. Andrew Smith
    5 Aug 14
    6:29 pm
  8. Whoops, fat thumbs….

    Commonwealth Games for example has very limited reach, e.g. outside of Austrlai many people would not be aware that it ecen exists…. but yep. events are important to gain attention.

    For Melbourne organic events that get global eye balls inclue A-League and with David Villa at Melbourne City, there will be many outside of Australia watching, and also becoming familiar with Melbourne and Australia.

    Every city, town and state have events or sights and now with digital/SEO small country towns, if organised, can by pass big city commissioners and simply promote directly outside of Australia, but many seem nobbled by senior commissioners…. who don’t get it…..

    A good case in point, Vic MP Louise Asher was in Istanbul Turkey promoting Victoria via a physical event/exhibition promoting Victorian tourism, education etc., yet neither Visit Victoria nor Study in Melbourne web pages have Turkish Language and international education sector prefers ‘distribution of marketing materials’…… = travel plan……

    However, coincidentally it was announced that Russell Crowe was producing an Oz/Turkish film production including famous Turkish actor/comedian Cem Yilmaz….. guaranteed

  9. BTN Ed 1
    5 Aug 14
    9:21 pm
  10. The commonwealth Games actually has a reach of about a third of the worlds population so it does have a fairly substantial audience!

    Getting big names in the A league will help raise the profile of the league and the team in Australia, although without getting into a sporting debate about how it, I very much doubt anyone outside of Australasia will raise an eyelid. So not sure of the real value to Melbourne as a city or Victoria as a whole.

    The commissioners and the big bucks – I get your point and in some ways agree, but it goes back to my earlier point – effectively its a numbers game and I guess this is the simple justification for them.

    However, I do take your point on the Turkey incident…and I am sure there is a great headline in that too!! Yep no joined up thinking there…very simple – tourist marketing in turkey…roll out an A list celebrity working with a celebrity in said country you are promoting to and voila!

    I also agree with the lack of follow up though – no specific Turkish language based content is yet another missed opportunity. However, I don’t think this is limited to Victoria though I think it is something inherently embedded across all areas of Australia.

  11. George Simmons
    31 Aug 14
    11:14 pm
  12. My my, does everything have to revolve around money in this country. Some people like AFL, rugby, soccer, motor racing or any other type of sport. Just because you don’t like a certain sport it should be scrapped.
    The F1 GP is good for the country with the amount of money it generates for the economy. Life is more than just money, get over it people, live a little.

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