Wagga mayor Rod Kendall says the Gold Cup was a shot in the arm for the city’s economy and is “very likely” to be the premise for one of the best-ever weekends for tourist pulling power.
An overjoyed Councillor Kendall said the city should brace itself for at least two more days of record tourist numbers ahead of the City-Country rugby league clash.
“I think this weekend in total is certainly going to be a very, very big weekend in Wagga's economy with so many people here,” he said.
“I think a lot of them will stay on an extra two days for the football.
“It’s very likely to be our biggest day.”
Figures attained by the Advertiser revealed the duel sporting events were expected to generate up to $60,000 every hour for the city’s economy.
Run-on spending would result in more than $4 million of spending over three days, the figures said.
That figure was welcomed by the Wagga Business Chamber earlier this week as a boon for small business and social wellbeing.
A leading council bureaucrat described the rapid cash injection as “unprecedented” in the city’s tourism history.
Cr Kendall said events such as the Gold Cup would form a key plank of the city’s tourism focus going forward.
“What a number of people have been telling me of late is that Wagga just goes from one event, to another event, to another event … maybe that’s what the essence of Wagga is.
“There’s always something on.”
He said “without a doubt” a continuous series of events needed to be maintained for tourism to thrive and for small business to capitalise on it.
“Rather than one big event it’s just a series of events week in and week out filling the motels and helping the shops and the retails, particularly the cafes,” Cr Kendall said.
The latest Destination NSW figures show the Riverina region received about 930,000 overnight visitations last year.
The tourism body has an ambition to double visitation rates to regional NSW by 2020.
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