MORE visitors than usual were spotted in Leeton shire over the recent Christmas and New Year break thanks to one event in particular.
The vast majority of visitors who came to the shire during the holiday period were those visiting their friends and relatives (VFRs), but the Formula 1.0 Gliding Grand Prix event also helped to boost the amount of people in town.
Leeton Shire Council’s manager of communications and marketing Brent Lawrence said the VFR market was a significant for Leeton as a key economic driver.
Those visitors who do come to town and stop in at the Leeton Visitor Information Centre (LVIC) are recorded.
“(The LVIC) electronically records every visitor who comes through its doors and asks them key questions such as their postcode, why they are visiting Leeton shire and how many nights they are staying in Leeton,” Mr Lawrence said.
“This information is then used to help guide some of our targeted marketing activities throughout the year. Public holidays over the Christmas and New Year period are traditionally very quiet in terms of walk in visitor numbers to the LVIC, hence our decision to close on public holidays over this period for the past four years.”
Following the festive period, many residents leave town to head off on a summer holiday with their family and typically there aren’t many tourists coming through town.
However, thanks to the Formula 1.0 event, that has started to change over the last two years.
“It’s great an event of this international status sees the facilities we have to offer in Leeton as desirable to hold their event,” Mr Lawrence said.
“Many of the competitors stayed in town for close to two weeks and this in itself provides numerous benefits to local businesses such as our accommodation providers, hotels, clubs, supermarkets, service stations and more.”
This year is gearing up to be a big one with several events planned, including the relaunch of the Australian Art Deco Festival Leeton from July 12 to 14.
“A big focus for council’s communications and marketing team this year will be the relaunch of the Australian Art Deco Festival Leeton as a destination event for the western Riverina region,” Mr Lawrence said.
“The winter school holiday dates sit perfectly within the wider Riverina regions events calendar.
“Being a mid-year event there is also increased opportunity to access state and federal government funding opportunities during the first few years of growth and development of the event.
“Currently we are preparing some important grant funding submissions, which if successful, will significantly improve our programming capacity and marketing budget for this event.”
An organising committee has been established with strong interest being shown from a wide cross section of the community.
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