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Racegoers to splurge on Melbourne Cup Carnival

Racegoers to splurge on Melbourne Cup Carnival
October 23, 2013

As Australians gear up for 'the race that stops the nation', business information analysts at IBISWorld forecast that higher consumer sentiment will lift Melbourne Cup Carnival spending by 3.5% this year to $455.5 million.

According to IBISWorld General Manager (Australia) Karen Dobie, betting by attendees is expected to grow by 12.4% to total $68.1 million this year, while fashion and beauty is tipped to be the fastest growing expenditure segment, increasing by 13.9% on the previous year to $53.2 million.

Dobie explained "total expenditure equates to about $1,287 for each separate visit to the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival this year."

The Melbourne Cup Carnival is expected to attract 354,000 visits over the four days of festivities, representing a 0.8% increase on last year. Interstate visitors are forecast to account for 18.0% of visits, while international visitors will account for about 3.5%.

As Dobie adds "the warm spring weather, coupled with high consumer confidence, is expected to drive domestic attendance, while the falling Australia dollar is expected to boost international visits."

While betting by event attendees is expected to total $68.1 million, overall betting on the Melbourne Cup Carnival is forecast to reach $806 million, an increase of 7.4% on the previous year.

Dobie continues "this year, IBISWorld anticipates that 35% of Melbourne Cup Carnival betting will occur over the internet or on smartphones as more people attempt to avoid TAB and bookmaker queues by logging onto online betting applications.

"The percentage of Australians using technology for gambling in particular for sports betting has risen significantly over the past few years, and IBISWorld estimates that the internet and smartphones will account for 32% of national gambling expenditure in 2013-14."

Travelling trackside

While IBISWorld forecasts that attendance numbers will increase slightly from 2012, Ms Dobie said that continued discounting of flights and accommodation by tourism industry players will lead to a drop in tourism expenditure, which is forecast to contract by 2.5%.

Dobie explains "Derby Day and Cup Day are likely to continue to be the two most popular days of the four-day carnival that attracts both racing enthusiasts and fashion lovers, with the two days generating about 100,000 visits each."

Food and beverages flow

IBISWorld expects that higher attendance at the track, alongside the continuing popularity of Melbourne Cup events around the country, will drive a 3.3% increase in food and beverage spending this year to $167.9 million.

Dobie concludes "On 5th November, private and corporate functions will take place all over Australia in anticipation of the race that stops the nation. Workplaces, bars, clubs, restaurants and private homes are all expected to splurge on a smorgasbord of food and beverages to celebrate."

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