Melbourne's business events credentials continue to be recognised on the world stage, with the city once again scooping two Australasian titles at the 22nd Annual World Travel Awards ceremony in Hong Kong.
Melbourne was awarded Australasia's Leading Meetings and Conference Destination for the third year running and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) was named Australasia's Leading Meetings and Conference Centre for the fourth consecutive year.
"The World's Most Liveable City offers outstanding experiences for our business event visitors and continues to deliver service excellence, as these awards demonstrate," said Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren.
"Melbourne is a deserved recipient of this honour from the travel and tourism industry. Our meetings infrastructure, knowledge capital and commitment to offer the best possible experience have once again proven superior to our Australasian competitors and Melbourne is once again the number one meetings and conference destination in the region.
"These awards are a tribute to the outstanding team work of everyone at the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), MCEC and across the industry who play a role in supporting the State Government's investment in business events," Mr Eren said.
MCB Chief Executive Officer Karen Bolinger said: "It is an honour to be recognised once more in the World Travel Awards, which represent the voice of the international travel and tourism industry.
"My team works hard on a daily basis to research, plan, bid for and service events confirmed as far out as 2022. But this award is not just about MCB. It recognises the success of our collaborative city-wide Team Melbourne approach to winning and hosting business events.
"The average 190 events that we attract to Melbourne each year raise the city's profile internationally and contribute around $250 million in economic expenditure annually, helping drive Melbourne's economy and supporting business.
"This accolade speaks volumes about Melbourne's capability. I am extremely proud of our hard-won reputation as a world-leader in business events."
MCEC's Chief Executive Officer, Peter King said: "We recently celebrated our most successful year on record, contributing almost $1 billion to Victoria's economy over the last 12 months as a result of the events we host.
"We pride ourselves on providing the right spaces for people to connect as well as state-of-the-art technology and an award-winning food and beverage experience, and this prestigious award is a great validation of our efforts.
"We also recently identified a number of opportunities to improve our service and streamline processes to ensure that MCEC continues to lead the business events industry within Australasia."
Melbourne and MCEC will now represent Australasia in a final round of voting to decide who will triumph in the World Travel Award's world awards on 12 December 2015 in Morocco.
The World Travel Awards have been acknowledging and celebrating excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry for 22 years. The awards are selected via votes cast by travel professionals and high-end tourism consumers. In 2014, more than 650,000 individual votes were cast.