Events boost North's coffers

UP to 33,000 people at sporting events in Launceston this month are contributing to a multimillion-dollar boost to the state's economy during its off-peak tourist season.

Crowds associated with the Launceston Ten and AFL matches at Aurora Stadium add to a reported $350 million in annual tourism income for Northern Tasmania.

Northern tourism figures have risen 15 per cent since December last year and contributed to a reported $20 million growth in Tasmanian retail sales for the 2013-14 financial year.

About 15,500 attended Aurora Stadium for the Hawks and West Coast AFL match on June 7 and a similar figure is anticipated when the Hawks meet the Gold Coast on June 28.

Northern Tasmanian Tourism chief executive Chris Griffin said events such as the Launceston Ten and Hawthorn games were crucial for Northern Tasmania during its off-peak season.

``Launceston Ten, like many running events, attracts a small market of out-of-towners for the run,'' Mr Griffin said.

``The more important thing for us is the supporters and the pit crew that come with the actual participants in the run . . . our accommodation sector is continually saying they notice a difference in terms of interstate visitors.''

Mr Griffin said sporting events often saw an additional two travellers accompanying competitors and placed emphasis in attracting more tournaments to the North.

``We are taking a fair amount of interest in how we best become competitive in that space,'' Mr Griffin said.

Launceston Chamber of Commerce chief executive Maree Tetlow said Launceston missed a potential economic boost with Dark MOFO for its off-peak schedule.

``We all know that we need a calendar of winter events,'' Ms Tetlow said.

``I think all stakeholders appreciate that we need to review what winter events are in town and how we can look at ensuring there is a fairly good spread of events during those months.''

She said flexibility with  weekend and public holiday penalty rates would keep more businesses open and contribute to the overall experience for visitors to the city.


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