Melbourne Tourism Week 2018 wrap-up

Melbourne Tourism Week 2018 was celebrated under the theme of Power Up! to complement the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s theme for this year’s World Tourism Day - ‘Tourism and the digital transformation’.

This year, the week was held from 8 -14 September and we looked at ways we can continually enhance the visitor experience, embrace new technology and adapt for the future.

Melbourne Tourism Week was celebrated with hundreds of participants joining us and our partners for activities and events across the week. This included two of Destination Melbourne’s major events, the Exchange (formerly Melbourne Tourism Industry Exchange -MTIE), and our food tourism event, the Ideas Feast.

The week opened with Accessibility Weekend, now in its 14th year. Accessibility Weekend is a free event providing access to many of Victoria's favourite attractions for people who use a wheelchair and their carer. This year, 12 metropolitan and 15 regional venues participated.

On Tuesday 11 September, we opened the doors for over 450 registered attendees to welcome them to the Exchange to mix and mingle with 79 exhibitors – our highest number ever. The day at the iconic Melbourne Convention Centre was about giving industry a valuable opportunity to make new connections, learn about the latest product offerings and reach hundreds of the city’s key word of mouth influencers.

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The 2018 exhibitors

This year’s event included speed networking using the data capturing EVISE app. Attendees used the app to check-in to the event and took advantage of the technology on the day. Technology was definitely front and centre as dozens of people lined up to try out a virtual reality experience with VR Partner, KASA. Dexter Eugenio from KASA said “It’s one of those things that gives a different experience and a different view, and with tourism, VR can definitely help with that aspect.”

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Getting the Eureka Skydeck Edge experience with KASA

Check out the Facebook image gallery from the day.

The following day at our Tapping Into Tourism Workshop, held in partnership with Hobson’s Bay City Council, businesses and entrepreneurs from across Greater Melbourne gathered to discover the unique part they can play in the tourism industry. Together we explored the professional assets and marketing opportunities they can tap into to reach more visitors more often.

Later in the week, the Ideas Feast, welcomed guests to the beautiful Encore St Kilda Beach, overlooking the ocean. The Ideas Feast was an opportunity to talk food tourism with our panel of guest speakers and discuss how we can leverage Melbourne’s reputation as a food destination. 

Stuart Gregor from Four Pillars Gin entertained guests with a pop-up gin bar, while our MC Wendy Hargreaves made us all envy her position description as Professional Eater. Trail blazer of Peruvian cuisine in Australia, Chef Alejandro Saravia gave us tips on knowing your passion and working with local producers. He also made a big announcement for food tourism in Melbourne. He's decided to open his own Gippsland produce-focused restaurant on Collins Street soon, bringing another highlight to Melbourne’s culinary scene.

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From left: Wendy Hargreaves, Alejandro Saravia, Alla Wolf-Tasker AM, Stuart Gregor

Award winning Culinary Director, Alla Wolf-Tasker AM, gave away a signed copy of her book – which didn’t leave her hands until she had extracted a promise to definitely read it from the excited winner, Emma McCashney from the North and West City Precinct.

Great food, outstanding wine and insightful learnings flowed freely at the Ideas Feast, as we spent our afternoon soaking up the beach-side sun and eating, chatting, and networking over new tastes and new ideas. Check out the Facebook image gallery from the day.

Thank you to all who participated, including our wonderful partners, without whom, Melbourne Tourism Week would not be possible.

The Exchange is brought to you by Destination Melbourne and our industry partners. Major Partner Visit Victoria, National Industry Partner Tourism Australia, Venue Partner Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Technology Partner evise, VR Partner KASA, and Supporting Partners  Tourism Accommodation Australia (Victoria), Port Phillip FerriesVictoria UniversityGulliver and Brochures DM.

The Ideas Feast is brought to you by Destination Melbourne and our partners, Local Government Partner City of Melbourne and Venue Partner, Encore St Kilda Beach.

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