Attendance at the Melbourne Cup Carnival has declined for the third consecutive year.
A total of 276,186 race-goers went to Flemington over the four race meetings this week, compared to 303,587 in 2018.
That marks a nine per cent decline in attendance, far steeper than the 2 per cent drop in 2018 a fall of about 2.5 per cent in 2017.
Stakes Day copped the biggest drop in punters, with 57,268 people showing up for the event in rainy conditions on Saturday, compared with 67,567 last year.
The Melbourne Cup on Tuesday had the smallest decline of the four meetings, with 81,408 people attending compared with 83,471 last year.
The Victoria Racing Club has remained upbeat, stressing the carnival has again produced the four best-attended racedays in the nation.
Chief executive Neil Wilson said that came despite Melbourne being hit with cold and wet weather, noting the track raced "safely and evenly all week".
"The Melbourne Cup Carnival is a resounding tourism success story," he said on Saturday.
"This is Australia's original major event, and it contributes to the economy like no other."
Three cruise ships, two from Sydney and one from Brisbane, were responsible for bringing about 6500 attendees.
MELBOURNE CUP CARNIVAL CROWDS (2019 vs 2018):
* Derby Day - 80,214 vs 91,194
* Melbourne Cup Day - 81,408 vs 83,471
* Oaks Day - 57,296 vs 61,355
* Stakes Day - 57,268 vs 67,567
* Total Flemington four days - 276,186 vs 303,587