The business events sector in Melbourne has benefited from the recent launch of new flights, hotels, attractions and events, with a suite of new visitor inventory and infrastructure also set to launch in 2017.

The exciting developments will provide more reasons for international business event decision makers to choose Melbourne as the host destination for their incentive, meeting, conference or exhibition.

International Flights
Seven new flights direct to Melbourne including:
- Air China to launch Melbourne to Shenzhen route direct four times per week from January 2017
- Virgin Australia to resume direct Melbourne to LA flight five days a week from April 2017
- LATAM Airlines Group to launch new direct flight between Melbourne and Santiago from October 2017 three days a week
- Qantas launched a new daily direct flight between Melbourne and Tokyo (Narita) in December 2016
- Hainan Airlines launched a new flight from Melbourne to Xi'an and Changsha in November two times per week to each destination - Beijing Capital Airlines launched Shenyang (through to Qingdao) to Melbourne in September 2016 three times per week
- Emirates launched new flight from Melbourne to Dubai, now the second direct daily service since September 2016.

City Hotels
Five new hotels to open in Melbourne CBD and surrounds with over 1,000 additional rooms and estimated completion time within the next two years including: - Four Points by Sheraton in Docklands - Slated to open on 28 March 2017, Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands will offer 273 guest rooms and suites, all with city or water views, as well as a fitness centre, pool and free WiFi.

- Hyatt Place Melbourne - Australia's first Hyatt Place hotel will be located in Essendon Fields connected to the new Australian Events Centre, just 6.5km from Melbourne Airport and 10km from Melbourne's CBD. The hotel will feature 166 guest rooms.

- Aloft Melbourne in South Yarra - Opening January 1 2019 and designed for global travellers, 4.5 star Aloft Hotels offers 127 comfortable loft-inspired rooms and a vibrant social scene, all in a modern techsavvy environment.

- Hotel Windsor Expansion - Work will begin on the renovation of the Melbourne's first six-star hotel in 2017, with the opening set for 2019. A 27-storey tower will be built adjacent to the existing heritage building featuring 279 suites, all serviced by butlers.

- Peppers Southbank - on the corner of Clarendon and Haig Streets in Southbank, this hotel will be designed by Bruce Henderson Architects. The 32-storey hotel will have 164 full-service rooms, a range of onsite leisure and business facilities, including a restaurant and bar, meeting rooms, a gymnasium and large outdoor terrace. With construction commencing soon, the hotel will open in late 2018.

Regional Hotels
- Boutique Accommodation at Willow Creek Vineyard - Early 2017, Willow Creek Vineyard will open a new boutique hotel called Jackalope. The Flinders property will consist of a 46-room luxury hotel, 30-metre infinity pool overlooking the vines and an 80-seat fine dining restaurant. At the same time, Willow Creek will reopen its eponymous cellar door and restaurant, which is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment.

- Mitchelton Hotel - The Goulburn River Valley's newest accommodation offering is due for completion in mid-2017. Mitchelton Hotel will sit alongside Mitchelton's restaurant, its Ministry of Chocolate café, and cellar door. The 4.5-star hotel will feature 58 rooms, a day spa and swimming pool, and easy access to nearby bush walking and cycling tracks, Goulburn River cruises and wineries.

Event Spaces
- The Australian Events Centre - Accommodating all kinds of events from product launches and corporate functions to conventions, grand scale celebrations and showcases for 1,300 guests. Features include a large pre-function area, break out spaces and green room with covered outdoor space and landscaped surrounds, providing flexibility for major indoor and outdoor exhibitions and events. The venue features 1,700m2 of prime event space featuring flexible and sub-divisible column free areas.

- Greenfields Albert Park - With a view over Melbourne's iconic Albert Park Lake the upgraded bright and airy space is suitable for a range of functions and events including conferences, meetings, group wellness activities such as yoga and meditation, lunches and gala dinners. The venue has capacity for 500 guests.

- The Secret Garden North Pier - Tommy Collins' hugely sought after Secret Garden pop-up venue returns for a second instalment, this time in a new location - The Secret Garden North Wharf. The concept is rapidly becoming one of Melbourne's most iconic event venues, now boasting an all-new waterfront location with a sleek urban garden. The spectacular open-air space at North Wharf is the perfect venue for conferences, parties, corporate product launches and gala dinners.

- Rooftop at QT - Part of the new boutique hotel QT Melbourne, Rooftop at QT boasts one of the city's most enviable positions, overlooking Melbourne inner city rooftops with capacity for events of up to 185 people.

- Metropolis South Gate - Located in the heart of Melbourne's arts precinct Metropolis South Gate sits directly on the banks of the Yarra River with sweeping city views of Flinders St Station, Federation Square, Princess Bridge and the Melbourne CBD skyline. The venue is large enough to hold 1,000 guests with the venue able to be split into two completely different sound proof areas.

- Hopscotch - A new vibrant venue in a riverside location with city skyline views. Hopscotch is a downbeat gathering place with beer for any casual occasion featuring a microbrewery and accommodating 130 guests.

- Chadstone Shopping Centre - Upon complete mid-2017, Chadstone's $660 million development project will feature more than 100 new retailers, two new dining precincts, a new cinema complex and Legoland Discovery Centre, bringing the number of retailers 600.

- Melbourne Cricket Ground zipline and roof walk - Plans are currently underway to develop a new Roof Walk at the MCG. The new attraction will allow visitors to walk on the MCG's roof, taking in spectacular views of the ground itself, as well as Melbourne's sporting precinct more broadly and the city skyline. A zipline will also be added to transport thrill-seekers from the city-end scoreboard to a landing on the opposite side of the stadium. It is anticipated to launch in 2017.

- Arthurs Seat Eagle - Launching December 2016, just in time for the busy summer season, the muchanticipated gondola ride will allow visitors to get a bird's eye view of the Mornington Peninsula. The Arthurs Seat Eagle will have 24 gondolas and take 15 minutes each way, reaching a summit of 314 meters.

- Urbnsurf - Located at Melbourne Airport, Urbnsurf Melbourne will be the first man-made surf park facility in Australia when it opens late 2017. Thanks to clever, wave-generating technology, visitors of all abilities will be able to have an authentic surfing experience whatever the weather - without a beach in sight. And LED lighting means keen surfers can ride the waves night and day.

- Wild Oceans EcoBoat Tours - Phillip Island's Wild Oceans EcoBoat tours offer two new tours launched November 2016. A new 90-minute tour will offer visitors a trip to Seal Rocks, with the chance to experience an up-close encounter with the seals and other wildlife such as gannets, terns and even albatross, along with the spectacular scenery. Run at sunset, it also offers the chance to see short tailed Shearwaters as they fly against the postcard-esque backdrop of the Cape Woolamai sunset. Also launching is the Island Discovery Tour - a three-hour tour that takes in Phillip Island's coastline and varied wildlife, but also includes a gourmet picnic lunch on a secluded beach on French Island.

- Kangaroo Country at Healesville Sanctuary - In late 2017, visitors to Healesville Sanctuary will be able to access a new kangaroo enclosure, which has been built to complement the sanctuary's recently opened Koala Forest exhibit.

Special Events
- Food Truck Precincts - The City of Melbourne will establish five permanent food-truck precincts in March, which will house a mix of 17 permanent and rotating trucks. The sites will be on St Kilda Road (outside the NGV and Arts Centre); Peel Street (next to the Queen Victoria Market); Les Erdi Plaza on the Yarra River (near Arbory Bar & Eatery); Batman Park (opposite Crown); and the underpass on the corner of Spencer and Flinders Streets.

- World's 50 Best Restaurants - In 2017, Melbourne will become only the third city in the world (after London and New York) to host the annual World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards - the global ranking which has become the most coveted for the world's best chefs. On 5 April, Victoria will welcome more than 800 of the world's culinary elite for the program of events - cementing the city's reputation as a global food destination and trend-setter. The annual Melbourne Food and Wine Festival will coincide with this major international awards program, positioning Victoria at the centre of a celebration of food and drink culture on a scale never before seen in Australia.

- White Night Ballarat - for the first time ever, White Night Melbourne will be joined by a regional counterpart, with the inaugural White Night Ballarat set to take place on 4 March - two weeks after the Melbourne event. White Night Ballarat will showcase the city's heritage streetscape in a whole new light with projections to feature on some of the city's most historic buildings. In another first, both events will be under the artistic direction of David Atkins OAM.

- Yarra Valley Food and Wine Festival - The Yarra Valley Wine and Food Festival will be an event that showcases the region's impeccable wine and food that can be found within the Yarra Valley. Scheduled to launch in April 2017, the event will attract up to 6,000 visitors local and international visitors. Set on the lawns of Rochford Winery the festival will feature live music, cooking demonstrations, wine master classes, and of course the region's world-renowned wine and food.

Melbourne images can be accessed from