A three-day cycling event proposed for the Fraser Coast in May could attract 3,000 visitors and inject up to $5 million into the local economy.
The new event to be branded as the Gran Fondo, has been proposed as a ‘signature’ regional event under the new Fraser Coast Regional Events Strategy 2020-2024 endorsed at the Council meeting last week.
“The new strategy will build on the success of the 2014-2020 plan and position the Fraser Coast as an event-friendly destination which has as a vibrant calendar of events, a focus on increasing visitor numbers and enhancing the liveability of the region,” Deputy Mayor Darren Everard said.
“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.
“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.
It is proposed the three-day cycling event would be held in late May each year.
“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.
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.