Wollongong's action-packed summer program of events has injected $22 million into the city’s economy, Destination Wollongong has revealed.
Of the 18 events the group helped launch or support in the past four months, four gained national free-to-air television exposure and eight were successful in attracting primarily out-of-region visitors.
Many of these were part of the “It’s ON!” campaign which marketed events in clusters and aimed to attract visitors from neighbouring regions.
Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh said the campaign had yielded thrilling results.
“Being able to leverage the campaign in partnership with Destination NSW meant we could more effectively let visitors know what events were happening,’’ he said.
‘‘With a strong media plan to support the message, we increased overnight visitation in Wollongong beyond our expectations to sell out in many places.’’
Feedback from key stakeholders, including Wollongong City Council, hotel managers, event organisers and local businesses had been overwhelmingly positive, Mr Sleigh said.
“Furthermore, the wonderful imagery and engagement we have gained on mainstream and social media as part of event coverage is invaluable,’’ he said.
‘‘There is no doubt that successful events in Wollongong help lift the profile of the city and spreads the word about what we have to offer.”
Most of the summer events, 14 of the 18 on the program, have been running three years or less.
Newcomers include the Australian Beach Soccer Cup, IMB Sunset Cinema, NSW Grand Prix Cycling, Tropfest and Tri the Gong.
Junior and senior representative OzTag tournaments at Dalton Park have proven big economic drivers over the summer, while the National Jaguar Rally, to be held in Wollongong over the Easter long weekend, is another event expected to attract big numbers to the region.