Excitement keeps building in Wollongong as a cruise ship destination

Leading the way: At the Destination Wollongong partner function were Mark Sleigh, The Grange's Scott McCaw, Tania Brown, Cr Leigh Colacino and Stuart Barnes. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Leading the way: At the Destination Wollongong partner function were Mark Sleigh, The Grange's Scott McCaw, Tania Brown, Cr Leigh Colacino and Stuart Barnes. Picture: Greg Ellis.

As Radiance of the Seas heads past Hawaii on its way across the Pacific ready for its summer cruise season, down-under interest in Wollongong as a destination keeps growing.

Excitement in the maiden voyage to Wollongong was already high at this week’s Destination Wollongong partner function at The Grange Golf Club’s new look clubhouse when it was revealed only two cabins were left for sale and more announcements were expected soon about Australia’s newest cruise ship destination.

General manager Mark Sleigh emphasised the importance of Royal Caribbean’s arrival on October 30 saying there will only ever be one maiden voyage for the cruise ship industry arriving at a new destination.

That is why it is so important to make the most of this opportunity after all the hard word of people such as Cr Leigh Colacino, Dom Figliomeni and many others.

The significance of major events to the city were also discussed by Jeremy Wilshire who said they contributed $20.8 million to the local economy in the last two quarters and the figure was set to hit $40 million annually.

He said the latest figures showed domestic visitors attending such events spend $201 per person, per day.

Mr Wilshire also revealed Destination Wollongong is generating $20 in economic impact for every dollar invested in major events “so a further $100,000 would equate to an additional $20 million boon for the region”.

Coming events include:

  • October 14-16 Beach Netball Festival.
  • October 28-30 Harley Days
  • November 5-6 MS Sydney to the Gong
  • November 11-13 World Cup Cheer and Dance
  • November 26 – MTV Beats and Eats
  • January 2-10 Australian Country Cricket Championships
  • January 3-26 Australian Indoor Hockey Championships
  • January 12-15 Illawarra Folk Festival
  • Also likely are an elite surf based event in January, a multi day food, beverage and lifestyle festival in April and a 10 day arts event using CBD venues.

Destination Wollongong chair Tania Brown and general manager Mark Sleigh also thank Stuart Barnes for his service to the tourism industry through his role at WIN Sports and Entertainment Centre general manager and as a former chairman of the tourism body. Given the impact events have on the visitor economy Mr Barnes took the opportunity to emphasise the importance and significant contribution a convention centre would make.

Thank you: At the Destination Wollongong partner function were Tania Brown, Cr Leigh Colacino and Stuart Barnes. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Thank you: At the Destination Wollongong partner function were Tania Brown, Cr Leigh Colacino and Stuart Barnes. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Mark Sleigh, Scott McCaw

Mark Sleigh, Scott McCaw

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