Ballarat’s economy has been boosted by “millions” of dollars thanks to the National Pipe Band Championships, according to Ballarat Regional Tourism.
Director George Sossi said that although he didn’t have the exact figures yet, he expected the economic boost to be “significant”.
“We’re talking in the millions (of dollars),” he said.
“The town has pretty much been booked out – the motels and caravan parks are full.”
Mr Sossi said it had been a two-year process to lure the National Pipe Band Championships to Ballarat, and the effort had certainly paid off.
“The great thing about the Pipe Band Championships is that many of the bands have stayed here for more than a week – it hasn’t just been overnight,” he said.
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“So when you’ve got 45 bands at an average spend of about $190 a night per person, it’s a significant economic benefit to Ballarat.”
Mr Sossi said the success of events like the Pipe Bands Championships and recent cycling events was enhancing Ballarat’s reputation.
“We’ve got to the stage now where events are coming to us,” he said.
City of Ballarat mayor Mark Harris said the event was a tourism and economic boon for the city.
“The National Pipe Band Championships is an important event,” he said.
“It’s great for the city and great for tourism.”
Cr Harris said visitors loved coming to Ballarat and always seemed to have a great time at the various events staged in the city.
He said the economic boost alone was worth the effort in hosting these sorts of events.
“The simple reality is, if you get an event that goes over one or two days – the bed stays are what increase your tourist dollars,” he said.
“An average day is less than $100 (spend per person), as soon as you get an overnight stay it’s multiple hundreds.”