Bendigo will be rolling out the all-natural fibre red carpet to welcome the 141st Australian Sheep and Wool Show from July 20-22, with $5.2 million set to be injected into the local economy.
“We love the Sheep and Wool Show,” City of Greater Bendigo tourism and major events manager Terry Karamaloudis declared.
“It is more than a major event. It is an iconic event for the city which gets shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and accommodation houses buzzing.
“As a council we are very firmly committed to it and we would only want to see it grow and prosper, and the city is doing all that it can to play its part in seeing that happens.
“Next to the Bendigo Easter Festival it is the biggest single event that the city supports by way of audience participation.
“There is in excess of 30,000 people that come each year and from the visitor economy perspective it is a vital event for Bendigo and for the region.
“We know those people are in the city purchasing goods and services and making a positive impact on our economy.”
Tourism impact reports, calculated using REMPLAN modelling tools and based on postcode surveys, show the city reaps more than $5.2 million in direct economic benefit from the visitor influx for the three-day event.
This equates to 32 additional jobs, almost $1.5 million more in wages and salaries, giving a further boost of just under $2.5 million to gross regional product.
Taking flow on supply-chain and consumption effects into account, the total benefit of the show to the economy is calculated at more than $10 million translating to 50 jobs, 2.6 million in wages and $4.9 million in value-added terms.
“We are all on a mission with the State Government to grow the visitor economy to in excess of $30 billion and in its own significant way the Sheep and Wool Show is contributing to the growth of the visitor economy,” Mr Karamaloudis said.
“The central location of the city and therefore the venue makes it easy to access and you can see that when you look at the number of people travelling from across Australia and in some cases internationally.”
With more than half the showgoers coming from outside the Bendigo region, postcode data reveals it is a surprisingly strong drawcard for people from greater Melbourne as well as those from obvious agricultural areas like north east and west central Victoria.
The highest numbers of interstate visitors came from the Riverina and South West Region of NSW and Greater Adelaide and Limestone regions of South Australia.
This definitely translates to bodies in beds, as Charlie Loftus president of the Bendigo Motels Association and owner of the Welcome Stranger motel, agreed.
“I have nothing but positives for the Sheep and Wool Show,” Mr Loftus said. “I think it is a wonderful event and it is just going from strength to strength.
“Friday and Saturday night of the show Bendigo will be full. Obviously, the range of accommodation has changed over the years but it has been a major event on our calendar certainly for the last 10 years.
“The Sheep and Wool is every bit as important as the Swap Meet. It is entrenched as a major event for Bendigo and I think it goes under the radar a bit as a quiet achiever I think.”
This story originally appeared on Farmonline.com.au