With the Annual General Meeting of the Apple & Grape Harvest Festival committee being held next week, President Greg Thouard will be pleased to provide good news about the economic benefit to the district as a result of the festival.
“Positive feedback has been received from industry experts who were engaged to perform an economic analysis of the benefit from the festival to the region”. EarthCheck has been the world’s leading scientific benchmarking certification and advisory group for travel and tourism since 1987 and through research conducted at the 2016 festival it has announced that the economic benefit associated with the festival is $10.14M.
This is a very pleasing result according to Festival President Greg Thouard. The gathering of data was conducted by a team under the supervision of Festival Director Kath McKewin in association with EarthCheck. “It proves that the extension of the festival to a 10-day event had strong attendance and economic benefits”.
It is estimated that 109,000 people attended over the ten day period. Of these, 30,600 visitations were made by local residents who attended many events such as busking, concerts, weekday events and main festival Saturday and Sunday providing an economic benefit of $1.95M. The balance of 78,400 people attending were visitors over the 10-day period providing an economic impact of $8.19M. On such a positive set of figures Mr Thouard commented that he is so pleased with the results and it gives great satisfaction to the Festival Directors and volunteers that the region received such a financial boost. “This provides many flow-on benefits for our community and our local employment base”.
Rather than looking at these results in isolation, I always like to refer to the follow-up visitation from an event such as the Apple & Grape. “It is a well-known fact that the early day Apple Blossom Festivals and Apple & Grape Festivals has been the largest district promotion over these years. With festival attendance figures reaching anywhere between 50,000 to 110,000 plus the promotions through television, radio and newspaper and more recently social media, the Stanthorpe district is promoted far and wide by the festival committee. Return visits as a result of the festival are well- known and the tourism industry has grown significantly as a result returning continuing economic benefit result.
The Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 13 September at The Vines Motel Conference Room at 6.15pm. Community members who have an interest in contributing to the success of the festival are welcome to attend this meeting and join the festival committee as a volunteer.