Smaller Crowds Tipped For Melbourne Cup Carnival

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The impact of the global economic uncertainty at the moment looks like affecting the Melbourne Cup Carnival with predictions showing a drop in attendance in 2011.

IBISworld are a business information analysis group and they say the overall spending from all aspects associated with the Melbourne Cup will be down this year.

They say they expect the total crowd numbers to slip below $350,000 and total outlay to be $268.9 million, down 6.1 percent.

These figures don’t just take into consideration on course spending but all money spent in association with the event.

On that note it’s the tourism sector that’s set to be the major drawback with international and interstate visitors down as much as 9.4 percent on the back of the strong dollar.

Racegoers are also expected to be more frugal in getting ready for the day with professional hair and makeup dumped for a DIY approach at a 8.7 percent higher rate.

A bit of that will be given back to the retail sector though with fashion spending taking a one percent boost worth over $30 million.

The on track action will also have a bit of a boost with punting expenditure to jump 1.6 percent and make up the major spending category.

IBISWorld says economic uncertainty is what will produce smaller crowds this year however it may look slightly exaggerated given this year directly follows the 150th anniversary which produced increased support.

They say that horse racing gambling as a habit of being particularly volatile and tough to predict but the other sectors seem more stable.

“Rising spending on fashion indicates people are still willing to splurge a little on something special,” IBISWorld general manager in Australia Karen Dobie said.

“Spending is expected to rise on essentials such as dresses, suits and hats, but accessories will suffer as we’ll be more inclined to make do with last year’s handbag or earrings.”

All up the company is predicting a $6.7 million outlay on dresses and suits, $6.18 million on hats and fascinators and up to $6 million on shoes.

There has been an overall 12 percent drop in attendance during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival over the last five years, something the Melbourne Racing Club are struggling to turn around.

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