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450,000 people visit 2016 Royal Melbourne Show
The Royal Melbourne Show has reported experiencing strong attendance this year, with over 450,000 people visiting the event over its 11 days, a 5% increase on last year.
Visitors to the Show, which ran from 17th to 26th September, reportedly took advantage of 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 24th September.
Mark Sullivan, Chief Executive of show organiser The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), advised “visitors to this year’s Show have responded very positively to the great value pre-purchase ticket offers, with a 50% increase on pre-event ticket sales and more than 75% of all tickets to the Show now purchased online.”
Held at Melbourne Showgrounds, the Show is Victoria’s largest annual community event, encouraging visitors to connect with and experience agriculture.
O’Sullivan said organisers had carefully considered customer feedback ahead of this year’s event 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.
He explained “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.”
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 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.
Commenting on this growth, O’Sullivan added “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 Agricultre awards, excellent school engagement across livestock competitions and a strong number of teams competing in the Young Farmer Challenge.”
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.
O’Sullivan concluded “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.”
The 2016 Royal Melbourne Show will close the gates to Melbourne Showgrounds at 9pm tonight, with next year’s Show to run from Saturday 23rd September and Tuesday 3rd October 2017.
Image: The Royal Melbourne Show ever popular clowns.
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