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Magazines : Our Place - Geelong Region Magazine 2011
Geelong Major Events and council-supported events delivered an estimated $38 million economic benefit to the region in "We believe that a conference centre in Geelong would not be competing with conference facilities in Melbourne and would bring more hotel accommodation to the city, which we certainly need, he says. e City of Greater Geelong is currently working through a major event strategy which aims to build on the success of past events and further develop the region s status. e mayor wants Geelong to be known as the home of triathlon, with the recent Multi-sport Festival set to build into a big event. "What we have done is proven to people we can run major events, he says. Having our own AFL team also contributes in no small way to Geelong s standing as a major player in the major events community. But along with all Geelong s events comes a need to market the region to the world. Tourism bodies are making the case to the State Government to establish a brand "Geelong . e model is to have a Geelong brand, separate to the City s brand, which could be used for all aspects of Geelong s economic development and lifestyle, which could be instantly recognisable the world over. "Geelong is such significant driver of the state economy it deserves a brand and we re really keen to work with the State Government, Mr Grant says. "It s one of the most exciting opportunities for us over the next couple of years. Events play a unique role in generating a sense of community pride as well as showcasing Geelong to the world. Geelong Mayor John Mitchell says the UCI Road World Championships gave the city untold publicity and exposure before, during and after the event. "When people saw the pictures of Geelong, there were people all over the world and even in Geelong who were surprised in what we had, he proudly boasts. Geelong Major Events and council-supported events delivered an estimated $38 million economic benefit to the region in 2009-10 and generated the equivalent of 300 full-time jobs. ose figures are expected to look like small fry this year with major events including the UCI, the Multi-Sport Festival and the Australian International Airshow. " e benefits to Geelong from the cycling would be in the tens of millions of dollars and will be felt for years to come, says Cr Mitchell. Events are critical in Geelong s fight for the tourism dollar. But we do have a chink in our armour. Business and conference events are an extremely lucrative sector of the market but the lack of a major convention and exhibition facility in the city means Geelong misses out. "We have got a major part of the jigsaw missing at the moment -- it s a big opportunity but we re missing out until we get that piece in place, says Mr Grant. Cr Mitchell agrees it s an area which Geelong needs to address. e City of Greater Geelong is expected to release further details on a preferred location for such a facility by mid-year. SLEEPY Hollow? Former Carlton FC president John Elliott coined a popular phrase -- something about a swine s rear end -- which best describes that unflattering moniker Geelong has worn for the longest time. As a thriving city with a track record for staging successful major events, Sleepy Hollow couldn t be further from the truth. Almost every weekend, there s a major sporting, cultural or arts-related event going on in the region. ere s Audi Victoria Week, the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, the Australian International Airshow at Avalon, the Bay Cycling Classic, the National Celtic Festival and the Geelong Multisport Festival. row in Pako Festa, the Falls and Queenscliff Music Festivals, Geelong Highland Gathering, Gala Day, the Geelong Cup, Royal Geelong Show and, of course, the Geelong Cats AFL home games at Skilled Stadium and that s enough to keep you busy and entertained all year long. On an international scale, Geelong has proved to be a heavy hitter, with the hugely successful UCI Road World Championships last year, coupled with the Rip Curl Pro and the biennial Avalon International Airshow and now there s a push to relocate the Australian F1 Grand Prix to either Geelong or Avalon. Geelong is also set to host another major sporting event next year with the city being awarded the 16th Australian Deaf Games. "Sleepy Hollow, to me, is well and truly dead and buried, says Tourism Victoria CEO and Geelong resident Mark Stone. Mr Stone says the way for ward is for Geelong to work with the Victorian Major Events Company to discover what major events are available, winnable and can be placed in the Geelong landscape. "Big events are not easy to come by and the competition with NSW is hotting up but world class events like rugby or soccer would be a good fit for Geelong and there will be other cycling events in the future. Local Tourism chief Roger Grant says people s attitudes and perceptions of Geelong are changing as a result of the events on our doorstep. " ere is a vitality about the city, he exclaims. "It s now a destination in its own right, not just a stop-off on the way down the Great Ocean Road. " e events have been a useful way in repositioning Geelong in people s minds when they come down to a conference or event, they go, 'Wow, this is fabulous! It s a lot more sophisticated and vibrant than we thought . 2009-10 and generated the equivalent of 300 full-time jobs. Coming up ... Rip Curl Pro -- ASP World Tour Event Bells Beach April 19-30 ripcurl.com.au 20th Australian Street Rod Nationals Geelong Showgrounds April 23-24 asrf.org.au National Celtic Festival Portarlington June 11-13 Nationalcelticfestival.com GMHBA Tour of Geelong Cycling Classic Geelong and surrounds August 10-August 14 geelongaustralia.com.au Alcoa Australia Corporate Head of the River Bar won River rowing precinct October 8 givewhereyoulive.com.au Geelong Cup Geelong Racing Club Wednesday October 19 2011 grc.com.au Poppykettle Children's Festival Arts precinct, Geelong October 27-28 gpac.org.au Toast the to Coast - food and wine festival Wineries across the region October 29-Oct 30 winegeelong.com.au Queenscliff Music Festival Queencliff November 25-27 qmf.net.au Our Place - the Geelong Region Magazine 45
Breakaway Autumn 2011