WARRNAMBOOL is emerging as a key venue for state and national conferences and events with potential to inject hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy.
Already this year, lifesaving championships and national conventions for town planners and museum delegates were major drawcards and organisers of other events are keen to get a slice of the city’s hospitality.
About 200 female motorcycle enthusiasts are expected for the 2WheelBabes Raid in November while in August next year about 650 indoor bias bowls participants will arrive for national titles and in Easter 2016 about 400 Morris car enthusiasts will motor into town for a national rally.
“It’s an emerging market that we are tapping into,” the city’s tourism services manager Peter Abbott told The Standard.
“There are a lot of small groups out there where members don’t feel they have the manpower, but would like to have a major event here.
“Warrnambool is a destination in its own right. We’ve got good facilities and experience in that sector.
“Our council is happy to assist any group to set up and run a good event.”
The 2WheelBabes organiser said Warrnambool was the first choice in venue for a southern Australian motorcycle rally because of its facilities and proximity to the Great Ocean Road.
Mr Abbott’s department has been liaising with Morris enthusiasts for the 2016 rally and has provided promotional showbags to be distributed at this year’s rally. “There will be 400 to 450 people coming for six days with about 200 cars,” he said.
“Cars will be displayed at Flagstaff Hill and there will be tours around the district and functions at various venues including a parade through the city centre.”
Conventions are increasingly becoming an important part of the program at the Lighthouse Theatre.