One million one hundred and seventy-six thousand dollars. Have I got your attention?

Between the months of April and October, Central Queensland is well known for its diverse and huge number of events. The Central Highlands is one of the biggest contributors to this events calendar, with offerings such as Gemfest, the Capella Pioneer Village Heritage Fair, the Comet Cutting event, rodeos, shows, horse races, festivals, AgGrow, Wings over Rolleston, the list goes on. Almost every weekend there is something on in the Central Highlands. So what does this mean for the region? We all know that events contribute significantly to the local economy but do we know how much?

Using figures that are readily accepted as reliable and provided by lead agencies such as Tourism Research Australia and the ABS, let’s look at an event that brings 1000 people to the region and put a few figures behind it. Our event attracts 1000 people who live beyond 40 kilometres from the venue site and the event goes over 4 days, AgGrow, Gemfest and the recently held Australian Karting Titles are examples that spring to mind. Through research, the length of stay in the Central Highlands to attend this event is an average 7 days, plus time to get here, and time to leave.

So here are the sums: 1000 people stay an average of 7 nights, that is calculated to be 7000 bed nights. Multiply 7000 nights by the accepted dollar spend per day of $168.00 and the dollars are adding up. The final dollar figure is $1,176,000. In anyone’s books this is more than a tidy sum injected into any local economy. Back in Jeff Kennett’s day as Premier of Victoria, he went about drawing every major Australian event to Victoria because he realised that events mean economic return to regions. Here in the Central Highlands we need to follow his lead and actively seek major events to the region. The local karting club is proof that if you aim high and have the professionalism to deliver, then the crowds will come and the crowds will spend money while they are here.

For more information or a catch-up, contact Peter Grigg E: tourism@chdc.com.au or T: (07) 4982 4386.

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