Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher today announced that Melbourne has secured the 23rd World Cancer Congress to be held in 2014.
Ms Asher said the World Cancer Congress is the largest event in the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) calendar and is one of the most prestigious medical congresses in the world.
"Securing the Congress is a significant coup for Victoria, and the event is expected to attract 2,000 delegates over five days to Melbourne and inject more than $10 million into the Victorian state economy," Ms Asher said.
"Regional communities will benefit from the event with almost half of the delegates anticipated to participate in pre and post event tours taking in some of Victoria's iconic attractions.
"Winning these major business events reinforces Melbourne's position as a premier international business events destination, especially in the fields of medicine and health.
"Major business events deliver significant economic and employment benefits directly to our tourism and business events industry, as well as to the broader state economy.
"This Congress will also enable Victoria's health professionals and students to benefit from the international leaders attending this world-leading event," Ms Asher said.
Sandra Chipchase, CEO of Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB), said this was the first time the event would be held in Australia.
A grassroots community campaign to secure support for the World Cancer Declaration and a new digital delegate boosting tool are just two of the innovative strategies developed by the MCVB to secure the Congress.
"Throughout the bidding process, MCVB has shown its support of the World Cancer Declaration – a tool designed to bring the growing cancer crisis to the attention of government leaders and health policymakers to reduce the global cancer burden by 2020," Ms Chipchase said. "Our new digital delegate boosting tool was another selling point for Congress decision-makers, highlighting our commitment to helping achieve expected delegate numbers through innovative destination promotion.
"This has demonstrated to UICC our commitment to the Congress as well as our willingness to go the extra mile in Melbourne, and we are delighted that these initiatives have helped us secure this prestigious medical congress," said Ms Chipchase.
Professor Ian Olver, CEO of Cancer Council Australia, worked with MCVB to secure the event for Melbourne.
"The Congress will focus on cancer control (prevention and screening) and research, and will therefore attract government and non-government organisations, as well as clinicians, practitioners, researchers and public health experts working in the field of cancer research and treatment to Melbourne and it will promote collaboration and partnerships across sectors and geographical divides," Professor Olver said.
"This meeting will provide a forum to discuss ways of advancing scientific and medical practices in this field. Topics will include cancer research, detection and treatment, supportive care, nursing, prevention, education, and building capacity in cancer organizations."
Leigh Harry, Chief Executive of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, said winning the event bid is fantastic news for Victoria.
"The World Cancer Congress is the largest event in the International Union Against Cancer calendar. We look forward to welcoming delegates to Melbourne and the Centre in 2014," said Mr Harry.
Ms Chipchase also thanked Qantas for its support in securing the bid for Melbourne.