Wednesday 10 October 2012
Business events are proving to be a boon for the Tamworth visitor economy based on a number of indications, including a significant upsurge in airline travel to the region.
Tamworth Regional Council Director Business and Economic Development, Paul Sullivan said that passenger numbers at the Tamworth Regional Airport over the past year indicate an upsurge in visitation and are bucking the State trend for airline passenger numbers.
Between May and August this year 55,511 passenger movements were recorded through the Tamworth Regional Airport compared to 51,749 for the same period last year.
'Whilst the State average for airline passenger numbers has been in the negative growth area over the past 12 months at just -2.3 percent, Tamworth's numbers have done the reverse with a significant increase of 6.8 per cent, providing a 9.1 percent overall swing to the region,' he said.
'This is a fantastic result for the Tamworth region in what is currently a challenging domestic economy.
'It highlights that our strategic vision for Destination Tamworth, linking business events with the visitor economy, is indeed a winning formula. Strategies such as partnering with Qantas to bring over 1000 competitors into our city for the Eastern University Games in July and developing and procuring events in the trough periods are now yielding positive results.'
Mr Sullivan added that the flow-on effects to the Tamworth region economy were no coincidence and were achieved by design with the 2010-11 sports audit being the catalyst for Council's new strategic approach to business events and tourism. 'We will be revisiting and updating this sports audit during the first quarter of next year so we can continue this fantastic momentum.'
A range of events held in Tamworth such as the Oztag State Cup (March), Under 15s State Hockey Championships (May), NCHA Futurity (June), Eastern University Games (July), the North-west Winter Showjumping Championships (July), the Under 16s Basketball tournament (July) Tamworth International Eventing (August), the APRA Rodeo (September), the A-league soccer match between Brisbane Roar and Newcastle Jets (September) coupled with headlining entertainment acts such as American country music starts Carrie Underwood and Joe Nichols, are proving to be a winning formula for boosting the Tamworth region's economy.
Mr Sullivan said the winning formula is set to continue with more events and headlining shows planned in the coming months including American country music icon Dwight Yoakam performing in November and founding member of the Eagles, Glen Frey heading to Tamworth in March.
Destination Tamworth Visitor Services Supervisor, Val Schaefer said that these year-round business events are helping the accommodation sector to build room capacity with the flowon effects to the retail economy enormous.
'Take for example the Eastern University Games held here in Tamworth; that event alone brought more than 2000 students to our region across 35 accommodation providers for five nights in July,' she said.
'Add to that the Under 16s National Basketball Championships where 400 athletes and their families were accommodated around the region, boosting the visitor economy by 1000 over 10 nights.'
'It's easy to see the bump in volume to our visitation as a result of these business events. The multiplier effect of these events is significant to our region and consolidates the work our business and economic development team is undertaking in putting the Tamworth region on the map as a year-round destination.'