Flight, ground transport and hotel booking data from Flight Centre’s Corporate Traveller division reveals last year’s Australian Open attracted 725 per cent more bookings than the Boxing Day Test, 73 per cent more than the AFL Grand Final and 56 per cent more than the Melbourne Cup.
And it is not only popular with the domestic crowd. Corporate Traveller recorded 89 per cent more international bookings for Melbourne during the Australian Open than the Melbourne Cup, 46 per cent more than the AFL Grand Final and nine per cent more than the Boxing Day Test.
The largest international corporate bookings for this year’s Australian Open came out of Auckland, Dubai, Singapore, Los Angeles, Doha, Christchurch and Wellington. Corporate Traveller says corporate bookings for 2024 are already 21 per cent above last year’s figures.
The official attendance for the Australian Open in 2023 was a record-breaking 839,192. Organisers had hoped for 900,000 attendees over the 14 days last year, but in 2024 to improve scheduling and avoid late night matches they have added another day, with the event kicking off last Sunday and running through to January 28.
Along with the extended tournament, recent improvements to the Melbourne Park precinct should ensure a larger crowd, given that the one-day attendance record was set last year at 94,854 during the third round and daily totals usually exceed 60,000.
The US Open in New York attracted a record 957,387 fans to its 20-day event last year, which not only celebrated its 50-year history, but equal pay for both the men’s and the women’s draws.
Melbourne’s tournament dates from 1905 and is the first Grand Slam of the season, attracting the game’s biggest stars vying for a total prize pool this year of $86.5 million, up 13.5 per cent on last year.
Semi-finalists will pocket almost a million dollars with the runners-up earning $1,725,000 and the singles champions, $3,150,000 each – that is, before the ATO takes its share.
With the most recent estimate in 2022 suggesting the Australian Open delivered more than $2.7 billion in economic benefit over the previous 10 years to Victoria, the state government has secured the rights to the event for Melbourne until 2046.