The economic impact of the 2022 UCI World Road Championships being held in Wollongong is going to be huge.
Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh said the international cycling event will inject $94 million into the state economy.
And Illawarra restaurants, bars, cafes, accommodation houses, retail outlets and attractions will all benefit.
That is not only because cycling enthusiasts from around Australia and the world will visit the region for the major eight day sporting event.
Many more will check out the international media coverage showcasing the region as the best cyclists around the globe compete in an individual time trial and road race.
They include elite, under 23 and under 19 events.
The event attracts more than 300,000 spectators, 1000 elite cyclists, 5000 officials, sponsors and guests and 700 international media.
Wollongong growing global reputation as a welcoming city will also be showcased again with the help of 1500 local volunteers.
Which is significant because the last time the event was held in Australia eight years ago 293,000 people turned out.
And on the day of the men’s elite road race more than 156,000 people and 500 members of the media from 23 countries were there to watch the action.
After working with NSW Government, Destination NSW, Destination Wollongong and Cycling Australia to help Jeremy Wilshire lure the global event Wollongong City Council is describing it as one of the biggest cycling events in the world.
Previous host cities have been Richmond, USA, Doha, Qatar, Bergen, Norway, Innsbruk, Austria and Yorkshire, UK. Cities in Italy and Belgium will be the next two before Wollongong in 2022.
Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said it was exciting for Wollongong which is the first Australian city to host the internationally renowned event since Geelong in 2010.
“The event gives Wollongong the opportunity to highlight the natural beauty of our coastline and escarpment on an international stage,” Cr Bradbery said.
“It will also provide Wollongong with unprecedented international television coverage.
“Between competitors, their support crews, race officials and cycling enthusiasts we estimate this event will bring significant economic input into the city.
“We are excited to be able to attract an international event of this prestige to Wollongong.”
Mr Sleigh acknowledged the council for taking a lead role in securing the event.
He said the councillors had wholeheartedly supported the major event strategy.
“And council staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that the successful submission for this event was world class,” he said.
Illawarra Business Chamber executive director Adam Zarth said the announcement that one of the world’s three most important annual cycling events coming to the region in late 2022 will be a huge boost to the local economy.
Mr Zarth said the Road World Championships were one of the triple crown of cycling events promoted by Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
The other two are the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia.
“This is fantastic news for the thousands of Illawarra businesses who will benefit both directly and indirectly,” Mr Zarth said.
“We expect the benefits to flow beyond just the eight days of the event, as it will create business confidence and jobs.”