October sees boost to Wollongong's visitor economy.
October was a key month for the Wollongong events calendar, with big ticket events attracting thousands to the city.
Yours and Owls, the Triple J-aligned music festival, established itself as a signature event for the region in attracting 11,000 revellers over the October long weekend. Backed by Destination Wollongong, a nine-day fringe element was added this year to extend visitation, including everything from an outdoor cinema, to art robots, slam poetry, beer, wine and bush tucker tours, science talks and a virtual reality concert. The music and fringe festivals are leading the way as perception changing events for the region, attracting an influential youth demographic and showcasing cutting edge talent in the arts and technology sectors.
The end of October ushered in arguably the biggest day in the history of the Illawarra’s visitor economy. Harley Days, a motoring and lifestyle expo previously held only in Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro, came to Wollongong over three days. The Stuart Park site hosted a feast of music and entertainment, while Sunday’s ‘Thunder Run’ saw 1500 motorbikes leave from Flagstaff Hill on a local tourist loop. This coincided with our inaugural cruise ship visit of Radiance of the Seas, which dispersed thousands of passengers into Wollongong and on various regional day trips, with Royal Caribbean estimating an injection of $890,000 into the local economy.
Destination Wollongong continues to scour the market and engage promoters and governing bodies to secure a strong portfolio of events for the region. Key criteria include economic impact, the perception-enhancing ability of events, and those that can help deliver a physical or cultural legacy for the city.