Chinese spend up
City centre visitors pour in $14 billion
A SURGE of visitors from China contributed to a $14 billion spend in central Melbourne last year.
A Melbourne City Council report has found the city welcomed 12.4 million international and domestic visitors in 2016-17.
That was up about 10 per cent on the previous year.
There were 5.7 million domestic daytrip visitors, 4.9 million domestic overnight arrivals, and 1.8 million international overnight visitors.
This included 436,000 people from China, who spent an estimated $2.6 billion in Victoria based on an average $146 daily spend, according to the Melbourne Retail and Hospitality Strategy 2013-17 report, released yesterday.
It revealed that the inner city has almost 3000 cafes, restaurants and bars, and 2153 shops which generated $11.2 billion for the economy.
Acting Lord Mayor Arron Wood said the city’s retail and hospitality industries employed 66,664 people and the retail vacancy rate of 2.7 per cent was below the historic average.
“Melbourne is an increasingly popular visitor destination which means more customers for our retail and hospitality businesses,” he said.
“The City of Melbourne employs a range of strategies and policies to stimulate growth in our retail and hospitality industries including event sponsorship, business grants, marketing campaigns and precinct support funding.”
Last year, city council events included Vogue American Express Fashion’s Night Out, Melbourne Knowledge Week, and Melbourne International Film Festival.
The report said the city had 455,800 workers and attracted 928,000 visitors on an average weekday.
Over the Christmas 2016 period, 59 per cent of people spent more than $100 during their trip, compared with 41 per cent in 2015. An estimated 95 per cent
of international overnight visitors to Victoria went to Melbourne, with most from China, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.
The number of international retailers grew to 137, more than double the number five years ago.
Today, the CBD will host the 12-hour Shop the City event involving Melbourne Central, Emporium Melbourne, QV Melbourne, The Strand Melbourne and Melbourne GPO.
The retailers will celebrate National Marshmallow Day.