Rob Giason from TTNQ Applauds Events Funding in Budget.

From: 2011: The shining star in this year’s Queensland Budget was obviously the additional $80 million for Events Queensland. This high-level recognition of the importance of events is extremely timely, as it was TTNQ that drove the development of the TNQ Events Strategy. We did this in response to the TNQ Repositioning Study which recommended diversification of tourism experiences within our region. Events have the capacity to attract a new breed of visitor who have a specific interest in the event in question.

Challenge Cairns and the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) are two examples of many contrasting events that are now building on our social calendar. With these two key events at both ends of our peak season we have the opportunity to extend associated sporting events around Challenge Cairns, as well as events such as Cairns Festival and Amateurs around CIAF.

Tourism is the economic powerhouse of the region and we seek to build on events during the trough and shoulder tourism seasons to extend the period of economic activity for the region. Although this Budget initiative will be competitive, considering other regions’ aspirations, we have established a platform and have a strategy. With the assistance and commitment of Cairns Regional Council and positive engagement with Events Queensland, our region will continue to vigorously pursue opportunities as per our strategy, to build on existing events and secure new events where desirable.

To date there have been some significant milestones achieved. The Davis Cup tie between Australia and Belgium was played at the Cairns International Tennis Centre, the Canterbury Crusaders played the Queensland Reds in a Super 15 trial match, the Australian National Women’s Hockey Championships, the Gold Coast AFL team has three matches scheduled at Cazaly’s stadium this year (Richmond in July), and the success of the inaugural Cairns Airport Adventure Festival and Challenge Cairns exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Our region has been chosen by some high profile athletes and teams as a training venue and over the next few months we are looking forward to the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, the Amateurs Racing Carnival, the Ukulele Festival and a five-day 16-team international futsal tournament in October.

The longer term future for events is extremely positive. The recent positioning of the destination as “Adventurous by nature” has also inspired many other opportunities that are currently being worked through that will provide additional marketing leverage for the destination into the future.

TTNQ has undertaken a survey of local sporting groups identifying opportunities to potentially host events locally and we are actively assisting sporting groups with their bids to host events.

With tourism and the community working together, such strategies have the potential to directly support the upgrading of existing infrastructure and the development of new infrastructure. This gives the local community a long-term legacy, and the region an opportunity to actively sell these attributes to sporting and special interest groups, build its local skill sets and encourage greater local participation in the sport in question. Additionally, discussions will continue to encourage the development of a Tropical Sports Institute based in the region, which will complement our Events Strategy.

Rob Giason
Chief Executive Officer



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