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International psychology conference to bring $5 million to Melbourne, Australia

Travel News Asia 14 October 2002

Melbourne has beaten Chile and South Africa for the right to host the International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP) in 2010, expected to bring over 2,200 delegates and more than $5 million to the State.

Australian Psychological Society President, Professor Paul Martin, presented the bid at this years congress in Singapore, where it was announced that Melbourne had won, subject to a successful site visit in April 2003.

The Executive of the International Association of Applied Psychology deliberated for an hour and a half before announcing Melbourne as the winner.

According to Professor Martin, We were competing against less developed nations. I believe some decision-makers thought that since Australia has a well-developed, professional psychological society, the congress might benefit the developing nations more, by giving their societies a boost. 

However, North Americans supported Melbourne, as it is a safe destination, he said.

The Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau (MCVB), which promotes Melbourne internationally and bids for major events, facilitated the win and provided support throughout the bid process.

MCVB was extremely professional. They did the day-to-day work, pushing things along and keeping the process going. Our bid was far superior to the others, said Professor Martin. 

MCVBs involvement was also one of the reasons Melbourne, rather than another Australian city, was chosen to be put forward for the bid. They drove the bid from the beginning, Professor Martin said.

Gary Grimmer, CEO of Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Melbournes convention infrastructure was a drawcard for major events.

Melbourne has added billions of dollars of infrastructure to its inventory in the past decade including new venues, hotels, roads, transport and attractions with much more to come. The result is that more and more major events such as this are being attracted to the city, Mr Grimmer said.

ICAP is the worlds oldest applied psychology congress, first held in Geneva in 1920. The congress is held every four years, and brings together several thousand psychologists from around the world for a review of advances in applied psychology.

According to Professor Martin, The congress will be an excellent showcase for Australian psychology. It will bring international leaders in the field to Australia to exchange ideas, and will assist in developing collaborative research.

The congress will be held at the award-winning Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre.

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