BALLARAT’S boom summer of events has brought in an estimated $8.3 million in visitor economic impact.
Nineteen events held from the start of December attracted a total of 63,150 participants and spectators.
Ballarat Regional Tourism events manager David McMahon said the usually quiet summer period had been a focus.
“We’ve been targeting quiet periods, not just in summer,” Mr McMahon said.
“It’s going really well. We had 44 event days in January and February.”
“It’s been a really busy couple of months. We had just over 61,000 people here in January and February on day trips or overnight stays.”
Mr McMahon said the big ticket events included the Cycling Australia Road National Championships, which attracted nearly 50,000 visitors and brought in $3.7 million, and the inaugural Ballarat Beat Rockabilly Festival, which had nearly 10,000 participants and spectators and brought in just over $1 million.
The Ballarat Swap Meet held last weekend is expected to bring in $1.5 million and had a 15,000 strong crowd.
Other highly successful events included the Ballarat Beer Festival ($793,000), the Horsepower Hot Rod Show ($516,500), the Red Hot Summer Tour ($373,800) and the Ballarat AMT Gold Pro Tennis Tournament ($304,500).
The other summer events which also helped boost the figures included the Lakeside Twilight concerts, the Under-18 National Female Cricket Championships, Organs of the Goldfields, the Victorian PGA tournament, the Southern Cross Basketball Challenge, the Ballarat Pacing Cup, the Ballarat Gift, the Ballarat Rowing Regatta, the Ballarat Cycle Classic, the Ballarat Rodeo and the Highland Fling.
Overall, the events had 7750 participants and 55,550 spectators.
There were 32,950 day trips which brought in an estimated $3.2 million and 29,700 overnight stays, which boosted the coffers by $5.04 million.
Mr McMahon said the $8.3 million figure was calculated with a Tourism Victoria and Tourism Australia formula that looks at the event schedule and period, including whether it is a morning or afternoon start, estimated participants, estimated local spectators and estimated visitor spectators. This figure is then used to work out estimated overnight stays multiplied by an estimated visitor spend of $170 for each night, and estimated day trips, multiplied by $99. They were then added together to come up with the estimated visitation only economic impact.
Ballarat City councillor Samantha McIntosh also said the city now had an amazing array of events available.
“We’re just getting bigger and better,” Cr McIntosh said.
She said the council’s Summer Sundays and Ballarat Backyard Tasters events had proven very popular while the Begonia Festival in March is set to attract about 30,000 people, with last year’s event bringing in nearly $3 million.
“It’s really making a difference to the way the city is buzzing.”