Melbourne has secured the right to host the 15th World Congress on Public Health (WCPH) in 2017, to be held at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).

Minister for tourism and major events, Louise Asher announced the city’s major win earlier this week and said the congress, held every three to four years by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), is expected to attract more than 2000 public health researchers, academics, scientists, educators and policy makers to Melbourne over five days.

“The 2017 Congress holds a special significance as it will coincide with the Federation’s 50th anniversary and it is expected to inject approximately $11.2 million into the state’s economy.

“This comes just a few months after we were notified that Melbourne will be the host city for another esteemed health-related event, the International Hepato-Biliary Pancreatic Association World Congress in 2020,” Ms Asher said.

Melbourne Convention Bureau beat off strong competition from London and Barcelona to win the bid and bureau chief , Karen Bolinger, attributes the win to a collaborative approach.

“The WFPHA unanimously accepted the committee’s recommendation to host the 2017 Congress in Melbourne, which is evidence of the strength of our bid,” Ms Bolinger said.

“Our collaborative approach to this bid, working alongside our local bidding partner – the Public Health Association of Australia Inc (PHAA) – and the state government, was key to our success and I would specifically like to thank the minister for health and ageing, David Davis, for meeting personally with WFPHA.”

According to the International Congress and Convention Association, Melbourne hosted more than a third of Australia’s medical and scientific conferences in 2013, and this success has continued into 2014.

“This is yet another health-related conference win for Melbourne, which is proof of the city’s global reputation as a centre of excellence in science and medicine,” Ms Bolinger said.

“Melbourne’s expertise in these fields is a major drawcard for international associations like WFPHA, as they are able to work with our research institutes and universities to create rich content and attract preeminent speakers to ultimately drive delegate attendance.”

MCEC chief, Peter King, also highlighted the significance of the WCPH win.

“This win further reiterates Melbourne’s recognition as a hub for major health events and MCEC’s reputation in successfully delivering these international conferences.

“We look forward to working with WFPHA, showcasing our incredible spaces, award-winning food, leading technology, and creating a memorable experience for delegates from around the world.”

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