Rally campers fill park
THE real value of last weekend's Repco Rally Australia to the Tweed economy should be known by the end of next month.
But there is no need for official figures to convince Mt Warning Holiday Park owner Graham Burnell that the event was good for the local tourism industry at a time when financial worries are leading people to spend less on travel.
“We always expected our cabins to be booked out, but we never expected to have so many people camping for the rally,” said Mr Burnell.
“Normally September is a quite time of year for us.
“During the rally we had between 250 and 300 people a night at the park and most of the cabin bookings were for five nights, not just the three nights of the rally, so that meant we got to keep those tourists in the area for a bit longer.
“That's good news for the local industry because they might then come back, and by staying longer they spend more in the local area.”
Foreign tourists from Europe and New Zealand stayed at the holiday park and a large group of motor sport fans from Newcastle in NSW also set up camp on site.
“We were surprised with our tent bookings and three weeks before the rally we decided to allocate sites because they were filling up quickly.
“A large number of the campers were from the Gold Coast and Brisbane, which surprised us as well.”
Accommodation across the Shire was at near capacity, with 70,000 tickets sold for the Australian round of the World Rally Championship, according to Repco Rally Australia general manager Gary Upson.
“The economic value of the event to the economy will be completed in the next four to six weeks,” Mr Upson said.
“Investigators from Events NSW (an arm of the NSW Gov- ernment) were out during the rally interviewing spectators, business owners and other participants and the results will be made public once they are compiled.”