Prevue September/October 2010 - (Page 62)

MELBOURNE Australia’s second city lures groups with its fashionable style, green conference space + wine/penguin country [ON LOCATION] CAROLYN BURNS BASS M elbourne has long been in the shadow of big shops and cafes that line them.... Over the past years Melbourne has become the major event capital of the South Pacific.” A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT Melbourne stretches around the shores of Port Phillip Bay and is split by the Yarra River before pouring into Victoria Harbor. Like any city surrounded by water, the river and bay are major players with plentiful waterside promenades, boating activities and water sports. And many of the old waterfront warehouses and wharves have been resurrected into vibrant hubs of social activity that reflect the river’s impact on the city. On the north shore of the Yarra, Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD) lies in a neat grid of blocks cut by wide streets and parkways perfect for group walking and shopping tours. Charming Victorian-era trams run throughout the wide shopping boulevards, allowing for hop-on/hop-off access to explore the haute couture, eclectic boutiques and delectable cafes. Across the river in South Wharf, the new Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC) reigns as the first of sister Sydney. But as the style and cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne sparkles in the midst of those shadows, offering distinctive venues, world-class accommodations and diverse experiences for every kind of group. The Asian-Pacific Incentive & Meetings Expo (AIME) runs every year in Melbourne during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer. Drawing senior buyers from all over the globe, the 3-day tradeshow framed by pre- and post-trips is a respite from the snow and winds of winter in the North. Leaving a chilly rain behind in Los Angeles, I escaped to Melbourne to cover AIME and to explore why it has become the top city in Australia for MICE business. I met Pauline Crowder, owner of the global DMC Encore Business Tourism, who summed up the magic of Melbourne this way: “Melbourne is really a unique destination. It has sophistication, lots of style, and is the home to most of Australia’s top fashion and decor designers. There is something special about the tiny little laneways, and the 62 | prevue magazine

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue September/October 2010

NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte
Four Seasons Scottsdale
Marriott Costa Rica
Starwood Hotels
Virginai Beach
The Green Meetings Megatrend
Dude Ranches
Cast Off to The Caribbean
Hyatt Regency Curacao
Riu Paradise Island, Bahamas
The Nature of Orlando
Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando
Renaissance Vinoy, St. Petersburg
A (Meeting) Room with a view
The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs
Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver
Berlin + Dusseldorf

Prevue September/October 2010