Spice is nice for lo­cal busi­ness

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - ADVERTISING FEATURE -

NEXT week­end’s Re­gional Aus­tralia Bank Cur­ryfest 2017, on Satur­day, Septem­ber 23, is one of the largest an­nual fes­ti­vals on the Coffs Coast and pro­vides a great boost for lo­cal busi­ness.

Wool­go­olga lo­cals are full swing in prepa­ra­tion mode for the town’s sig­na­ture event.

A Cham­ber of Com­merce or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee and Event Man­age­ment team work through the year to run the event, but many lo­cal vol­un­teers come on board to help and lo­cal busi­ness sponsorship and par­tic­i­pa­tion is cru­cial to the event’s suc­cess – a real com­mu­nity ef­fort.

Cur­ryfest 2016 was at­tended by a record num­ber of peo­ple with es­ti­mates be­tween 15,000 and 17,000.

Or­gan­is­ers ex­pect to top that in 2017 fol­low­ing an ex­ten­sive mar­ket­ing cam­paign out­side the Coffs Coast as­sisted by Des­ti­na­tion NSW.

“Al­most a third of the vis­i­tors last year were from out­side the Coffs Coun­cil area and the av­er­age stay was 5.7 days, so the event is gen­er­at­ing sig­nif­i­cant tourism with all of the re­lated spin-offs for lo­cal ac­com­mo­da­tion op­er­a­tors, cafes and gift shops in Wool­go­olga and the wider Coffs area,” said Event Man­ager Carl Mower.

“Many lo­cal shops and ven­dors ben­e­fit on fes­ti­val day it­self, but oth­ers ben­e­fit more in the days be­fore and af­ter the fes­ti­val when vis­i­tors are in town look­ing for places to stay, shop and eat.

“There’s also been a big in­crease in in­ter­state vis­i­tors to the event.”

Now in its 12th year, Cur­ryfest has a fur­ther pos­i­tive eco­nomic spin-off for the town be­yond the sig­nif­i­cant boost to tourism.

In 2016, the ma­jor­ity of goods and ser­vices used by event man­agers were sourced lo­cally with $37,000 spent lo­cally in Wool­go­olga and a fur­ther $34,000 spent on Coffs Coast goods and ser­vices.

“Ev­ery­thing from graphic de­sign and traf­fic man­age­ment to equip­ment hire, ad­ver­tis­ing and en­ter­tain­ment,” Mr Mower said.

Many fes­ti­vals through­out NSW have closed down due to es­ca­lat­ing reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments and costs but Cur­ryfest has man­aged to con­trib­ute to fundrais­ing or do­nate around $10,000 to lo­cal schools and com­mu­nity groups over the past two years as well as putting some aside for a fu­ture con­tri­bu­tion to a ma­jor lo­cal project.

“We do­nate a share of the prof­its to the com­mu­nity groups that vol­un­teer to help us on the day with the only re­quire­ment be­ing that they use the money for lo­cal projects,” or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee Chair Pamela Fayle said.

“Also quite a few com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions take ad­van­tage of a dis­counted stall site fee and do their own pro­mo­tion and fundrais­ing at the event.

“So we hope lots of peo­ple come out and sup­port the event on Septem­ber 23.”

De­spite cost in­creases in re­cent years, or­gan­is­ers have been able to re­tain the fam­ily-friendly en­trance charge of $5 for adults and chil­dren free, while many sim­i­lar events are charg­ing dou­ble digit fig­ures.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Cur­ryfest 2017 go to www.cur­ryfest.com.au.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

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