Tourism in Melbourne

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Tourism in Melbourne is a significant industry in the state of Victoria, Australia. The country's second most-populous city, Melbourne was visited by 2.7 million international overnight visitors and 9.3 million domestic overnight visitors during the year ending December 2017.[1]

Often lauded as Australia's heart of culture, Melbourne's attractions include sporting events, art galleries, live music, festivals and fashion events that are popular with tourists and locals alike. Named the world's most liveable city from 2011 to 2017, Melbourne's culture and lifestyle have been increasingly promoted internationally, leading to average year-on-year growth of international visitors of 10% in the five years to 2017.[1][2]

In its annual survey of readers, the Condé Nast Traveler magazine found that both Melbourne and Auckland were considered the world's friendliest cities in 2014. The magazine described the "wonderful sense of humour" of Melburnians, who live among public art and parks.[3][4]

Tourist numbers[edit]

Visitors 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
International (Overnight) 1,677,000 1,857,000 2,026,000 2,312,000 2,535,000 2,741,000
Domestic (Overnight) 7,033,000 7,074,000 7,803,000 8,080,000 8,630,000 9,251,000

Popular sites[edit]

Melbourne's most popular tourist sites for fiscal year ending June 2018:[5]

Rank Attraction Description Visitor Number (2017) Visitor Percentage (2017)
1 CBD Shopping Shopping across the city-centre of Melbourne, including shopping centres, streets and arcades such as Emporium Melbourne, Melbourne Central Shopping Centre, Collins Street, Bourke Street Mall, Royal Arcade, St. Collins Lane, Block Arcade and Chinatown 5,300,000 19%
2 Federation Square A venue for arts, culture and public events on the edge of the city-centre. Also a common meeting place and close to the major transport hub and tourist attraction of Flinders Street railway station, and nearby Birrarung Marr and the Melbourne Cricket Ground 2,800,000 10%
3 Southbank Promenade Southbank Promenade and Southgate Restaurant and Shopping Precinct is one of Melbourne's major entertainment precincts. Southgate's landmark Ophelia sculpture by Deborah Halpern has been used to represent Melbourne in tourism campaigns 2,600,00 9%
4 Queen Victoria Market The largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere, first opened in 1869. Features an abundance of fresh produce, meat, merchandise and a food hall housed inside notable 19th century buildings 2,400,000 9%
5 Crown Entertainment Complex The largest casino complex in the Southern Hemisphere, featuring three hotels, numerous high-end restaurants, cinemas and stores 2,000,000 7%
6 Docklands & Docklands Stadium An area of waterside urban renewal featuring shopping, restaurants, corporate offices and Marvel Stadium 1,700,000 6%
7 St Kilda Inner Southern suburb featuring St Kilda Beach, Luna Park theme park and the restaurant and shopping districts of Fitzroy Street and Acland Street 1,700,000 6%
8 National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Australias oldest, largest and most visited art museum, housing works by Rembrandt, Claude Monet, Australian Impressionists and featuring the famed Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series 1,100,000 4%
9 Melbourne Museum, Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens The largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere, featuring the world's largest IMAX screen, alongside the cavernous 19th century Exhibition Building, both set in the surroundings of the Carlton Gardens 865,000 3%
10 Melbourne Cricket Ground World-famous sporting venue, the 10th-largest stadium in the world, largest in Australia, largest in the Southern Hemisphere, the largest cricket ground by capacity, and has the tallest light towers of any sporting venue 807,800 3%

Other notable sites:

Restaurant & café districts[edit]

Exterior of the grand 19th century Victorian Hotel Windsor

Restaurants[edit]

Melbourne is known for its foodie culture and its abundance, variety and quality of restaurants. In part this is due to various waves of immigration and the multicultural fabric of the city. Major restaurant strips are located throughout the inner city and the inner suburbs, including:

  • Chinatown- featuring mainly Cantonese cuisine (and increasingly other asian cuisines) and famous restaurants such as Flower Drum
  • Lygon Street- Melbourne's Little Italy in the inner-northern suburb of Carlton, offers a selection of mainly Italian-influenced food
  • Brunswick Street- in inner-suburban Fitzroy home to a bohemian community of students, artists, and poets with several live music venues, eclectic stores, accompanied by restaurants and cafes serving numerous cuisines
  • Chapel Street- south of the city is a popular destination for fashionable clothes shopping, eating and entertainment. The long street contains commercial areas providing goods and services for local residents. Chapel Street intersects with Toorak Road, itself offering entertainment, food and shops.
  • Glenferrie Road- east of the city in the inner suburban Malvern has a wide mix of different cuisines including Indian, Malaysian, Thai and Japanese. The street intersects with High Street in Armadale which also has a mix of antique shops, cafes and restaurants
  • Glenhuntly Road- south east of the city in inner suburban Elsternwick is a busy strip that offers a wide range of different restaurant cuisines including Chinese, Malaysian Indian, Thai, and some Middle Eastern cuisines
  • Victoria Street- known as Melbourne's Little Saigon featuring numerous Vietnamese restaurants (and increasingly Thai, Korean and Japanese)
  • Nelson Place- a waterside street in Williamstown known for weekend breakfasts, brunches and lunches

Coffee Culture[edit]

Melbourne is also known as a coffee-obsessed city, with the flat white an Australian-invented favourite. The city's coffee culture is largely a result of Italian immigration, but has evolved into a local passion over time.[6] The city centre features a ubiquitous cafe culture, with high concentrations of cafés around a few famous alleys, including:

Many inner suburbs also feature streets famous for cafes, including:

Bars, pubs and nightlife[edit]

Storefront window of a tea house on Collins Street displaying cakes and pastries.
Melbourne by night

Melbourne features Australia's most active nightlife scene with pubs, bars, and nightclubs spread throughout the city and inner suburbs.

The CBD contains a wide variety of venues, from Irish pubs and more traditional Australian hotels, through to wine bars, jazz venues on Bennetts Lane, nightclubs and dance venues (where the Melbourne Shuffle was born). Venues are often located down Melbourne's famous network of laneways and alleys.

Well-known pub, bar and nightclub districts include:

  • Brunswick Street and the its surrounding area features an array of rock and grunge venues
  • King Street, on the Western side of the CBD, traditionally a nightclub strip with some remaining, but many are now exotic dancing venues
  • Chapel Street in Prahran features many bars and nightclubs
  • St Kilda- houses several huge music venues including the famous Esplanade Hotel (known as 'the Espy'), the Prince of Wales, and the Palais Theatre

Melbourne also has a vibrant gay community, with gay and gay-friendly bars across the city. It is mostly concentrated on two gay villages – Commercial Rd, South Yarra and Smith St, Collingwood, but there are also gay bars and clubs in St Kilda, Fitzroy, Richmond and Yarraville.

Close to Melbourne[edit]

There are a variety of interesting things to see outside Melbourne proper but still within a day trip of Melbourne:

A view of the Mornington Peninsula from the lookout at Arthurs Seat

Australian tourism[edit]

Melbourne's domestic tourist spend per capita exceeded Sydney for the first time in 2008; however a spokesman for the NSW Tourism Minister stated that Melbourne earned less in terms of overall tourist revenue.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Victorian Government. "Melbourne Tourism Summary" (PDF). Destination Melbourne. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Melbourne loses title of most liveable city to Vienna". ABC News. 14 August 2018. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  3. ^ Kylie McLaughlin (18 August 2014). "Melbourne named the world's friendliest city, Sydney fifth". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Conde Nast Traveler The 2014 Friendliest and Unfriendliest Cities in the World". Condé Nast Traveler. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  5. ^ Business Victoria. "Melbourne's Top Attractions" (PDF). Business Victoria. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Melbourne's cafe cool culture". Australian Traveller. 28 October 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  7. ^ Annabel Stafford (19 May 2008). "Now Sydney loses its tourism ascendancy". The Age. Retrieved 21 August 2014.

External links[edit]