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Racing carnival generates $14.7 million spend

News Article Date: 
Friday, 27 July 2018

An economic impact study has shown the 2018 May Racing Carnival generated consumer spending of $14.7 million, of which $12.5 million was spent in Warrnambool.

Warrnambool City Council Manager Visitor Economy, David McMahon said that the findings revealed the immense value of the carnival to Warrnambool.

“We now have great data around the genuine economic impact and importance of this event,” Mr McMahon said.

“It’s also testament to the hard work and professional approach of the Warrnambool Racing Club.

“These important new dollars into our economy are crucial not just to tourism operators but have a major impact across all sectors of our business community and create jobs.”

The independent economic impact study by IER found that the carnival:

  • Had a total attendance of 31,696, with 69 per cent of attendees from outside the Warrnambool region;
  • Brought 15,024 people to the region who otherwise may not have visited;
  • Generated 30,695 bed nights in Warrnambool; and
  • Achieved a high overall customer satisfaction rating with many indicating there was a high likelihood they would return in 2019.

Warrnambool Racing Club Chief Executive Officer Peter Downs said the club was proud of the contribution the carnival made to the Warrnambool economy.

“It’s great to see the results up by 20 per cent on last year,” Mr Downs said.

“During carnival week, the benefits of the event are clearly visible, particularly within the retail, hospitality and accommodation sector.

“But it also filters right through to other areas in the months following; all of which are supporting small business and jobs within the town”.

The club funds the May Racing Carnival at a cost of nearly $1.5m annually. It is one of Australia’s hallmark country racing events and in 2017 won silver award at the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards.

“The Carnival continues to grow each year and with the number of visitors to Warrnambool increasing, we trialled a number of new initiatives in 2018 to ensure that we address the challenges of accommodation availability,” Mr Downs said.

“Through a partnership with Warrnambool Visitor Information Centre and the promotion of an accommodation drive we were able to achieve an increase of more than 4,500 visitor nights for Warrnambool. “

“Another new and successful initiative this year was the national campaign with Racing.Com,” Mr McMahon said

“Council in partnership with the racing club and the Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism Board funded this nationwide campaign that saw Warrnambool promoted to hundreds of thousands potential visitors – in the weeks before the event and before, during and after each of the 30 races across the three-day event with dozens of adverts and promotional videos as well as live interviews promoting our city across the country.”


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