The Royal Melbourne Show has experienced strong attendance this year, with around 450,000 people visiting the event over 11 spectacular days, a 5% increase on last year.
Show visitors took advantage of great value offers on pre-purchased tickets, resulting in the highest Saturday attendance in Show history, with close to 70,000 visitors through the gates on Saturday, 24 September.
“Visitors to this year’s Show have responded very positively to the great value pre-purchase ticket offers, with a 50 per cent increase on pre-event ticket sales and more than 60 per cent of all tickets to the Show now purchased online,” said CEO, The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), Mark O’Sullivan.
The Show delivered a successful program that reinforces it as Victoria’s largest and most iconic annual community event, encourages visitors to connect with and experience agriculture.
Held at Melbourne Showgrounds the 2016 Royal Melbourne Show has provided visitors more opportunities than ever to experience farm animals, take part in fun, hands-on activities for the whole family, indulge in delicious award-winning food and be thrilled by exciting attractions.
Mr O’Sullivan said organisers had carefully considered customer feedback ahead of this year’s Royal Melbourne Show including visitor’s requests for more animals on display and increasing the size and variety of eateries at the popular Winning Tastes Pavilion and Courtyard.
“The 2016 Royal Melbourne Show has been bigger and better than ever before, with around 450,000 Show visitors enjoying the expanded animal displays, a larger Winning Tastes precinct with some of Melbourne’s most popular eateries and longer opening hours across several of the pavilions,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
In addition to an expanded animal, food and entertainment offering, the Royal Melbourne Show hosted China as the Guest Nation for the first time ever where more than 70 exhibitors and commercial businesses from the Shanxi Province showcased the important trade relationship between Australia and China.
“RASV was delighted to welcome more than 200 Chinese delegates and provincial government members from China to this year’s Royal Melbourne Show for our first ever international exhibition. It provided a valuable opportunity to promote Chinese tourism whilst strengthening connections between key trading partners in Australia and China,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
RASV received strong entries across its portfolio of Royal Melbourne Show blue ribbon competitions, with several of the competitions experiencing an increase in youth participation indicating a strong future for the Show’s competitions in coming years.
“We are committed to recognising and supporting youth in agriculture and were delighted this year to see strong youth engagement across a number of Royal Melbourne Show competitions, with a significant increase in exhibitors for the Beef Carcase competitions, strong candidates vying for the Dairy Youth Handlers scholarship and the Emerging Leaders in Victorian Agriculture awards, excellent school engagement across livestock competitions and a strong number of teams competing in the Young Farmer Challenge,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
Contributing more than $240 million every year in value to the state of Victoria, the Royal Melbourne Show has cemented its place as a major destination event.
“The success of the 2016 Royal Melbourne Show is due to our many valuable principal partners and sponsors, outstanding commercial exhibitors and caterers, dedicated staff and volunteers and the thousands of exhibitors and their talented animals who entered competitions held at the Royal Melbourne Show this year,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
Next year’s Royal Melbourne Show will be held from Saturday 23 September- Tuesday 3 October 2017.