Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) welcomed incentive agents from Japan and New Zealand to Melbourne last week as part of Dreamtime 2015, showcasing Melbourne and regional Victoria's assets as Australia's leading incentives destination.
The 11 New Zealand and three Japanese agents participated in a bespoke three-day itinerary, designed in collaboration with MCB's partners, resulting in new and innovative experiences for the international guests.The Melbourne program, which ran from Wednesday 9 December to Friday 12 December, was packed from morning until evening with unparalleled ‘made in Melbourne' experiences.
On day one guests were helicoptered to Campbell Point House private mansion on the Bellarine Peninsula for a lunch prepared by celebrity chef Sacha Meier. The lux experience continued with an afternoon of pampering followed by a welcome dinner at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne and Langham Hotel for the New Zealand and Japanese buyers respectively.
Day two was a day of discovery and exploration as the New Zealand buyers participated in a morning Melbourne Street Art tour while the Japanese delegates took a trip to famous Sovereign Hill to try their luck at gold digging. A Melbourne major events themed lunch followed as the both groups gathered in Central Pier and enjoyed photo opportunities with the 2016 Emirates Melbourne Cup, making its first public appearance, as well as a Redbull Formula One race car.
Following lunch the New Zealand group met Australian tennis legend Todd Woodbridge and took a tour of the Melbourne & Olympic Park's upgraded facilities culminating in photo opportunities with Grand Slam trophies.
A special evening was planned at Secret Garden by Tommy Collins, a uniquely Melbourne pop up venue located at Pop Up Patch on Federation Square's rooftop carpark, set to the backdrop of Melbourne's skyline.
The final day saw the group experience Victoria's world-renowned wine regions and enjoy local produce at Crittenden Estate and Port Phillip Estate on the Mornington Peninsula, and Rochford Wines and Oakridge Wines in the Yarra Valley. Some guests also enjoyed making their own gin at Bass and Flinders Distillery. The day culminated in a cocktail and dinner function at the Linfox Museum, housing one of the largest collections of prestige cars in the Southern Hemisphere and featuring cars previously owned by Elvis Presley, Pablo Picasso and James Dean.
MCB CEO Karen Bolinger said Melbourne is a city of discovery with many layers and a depth of character that is unrivalled.
"Melbourne has a strong track record of hosting large and small incentive groups and the reason we have such great success here is our cities unique culture and immersive experiences. We are able to offer a combination of the must-see experiences and combine this with unknown unique experiences that are tailored specifically to each group.
"Our success is representative of our Team Melbourne approach where we collaborate with our partners to design exciting new once in a lifetime programs which also leave a legacy for the company and group touring here. Whether that is about education, staff retention or to inspire we always ensure that we put the incentive objective first, and follow through with fresh itinerary concepts for our clients and delegates," Ms Bolinger said.