A RECENTLY proposed three-day cycling event could pump millions of dollars into the Fraser Coast economy.
The event, which will be branded as the ‘Gran Fondo’, was put forward as a signature regional event under the Fraser Coast Events Strategy 2020-2024.
The strategy was endorsed by the Fraser Coast Regional Council last month.
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Initial expectations are that around 3,000 visitors would be attracted to the region for the racing – likely to take place in late May each year.
Deputy Mayor Darren Everard said the new strategy would build on the success of the 2014-2020 plan and position the Fraser Coast as an “event-friendly destination” with a vibrant calendar of events.
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“The strategy outlines how Council and Fraser Coast Tourism and Events can support events, grow existing signature events, and attract new leisure, sports and business events which encourage overnight stays and support our community events,” Cr Everard said.
“It is a blueprint to build a balanced and sustainable events portfolio that will attract visitors, boost the economy, enhance the liveability of the region and grow our reputation and appeal as a destination.”
The strategy aims to:
- Lead to an increase in overnight visitation and expenditure for visitors to the region;
- Build better co-ordination of events on the Fraser Coast;
- Build capability of local event organisers to grow and sustain their events, and;
- Clarify the roles of Council and Fraser Coast Tourism and Events in attracting and organising events.
The strategy includes proposals to simplify the event approval process; programs to help community event organisers build their events and investment in two ‘signature events’ – one in Hervey Bay and one in Maryborough.
“Existing high-value events will continue and there will be a strong focus on securing new quality events such as the ‘Gran Fondo’ cycling event,” Cr Everard said.
“The event organiser has a long history of working in mass participation sporting events and aims to bring several thousand visitors to the Fraser Coast,” Cr Everard said.
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The FCTE tourism marketing model suggests that the economic input from the new signature events would be between $2.7-million and $5-million per event.
The implementation of the new strategy will not require an allocation of additional funds and will improve the return on investment from community funds invested in attracting and growing events, Cr Everard said.
Council received funding from the Commonwealth Government under the Building Better Regions Fund to develop the Events Strategy.