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Cairns’ tourism recovery to focus on sport tourism
Far North Queensland's efforts to be rebuild its tourism industry is to include a focus on sports tourism, targetting six sports as potential hosts of national and international events.
Encouraged by the success of last year's AFL match in Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Business Events Director Rosie Douglas believes that sport tourism will play a major part in aiding the region's recovery.
Douglas told The Cairns Post "we developed a regional events strategy three years ago and sports tourism was identified as needing more attention, especially now we're having to realign after the Japanese industry fell away.
"Sport was identified as one of the major areas we needed to look at.
"It's broken into two areas - the high-profile events like AFL and also Challenge Cairns where a lot of major athletes take part, and the high participation sports like Masters Games and junior competitions."
Challenge Cairns doubled expectations to yield an economic boost of $7.5 million for the region and Douglas hopes other sports would follow suit.
Among the targeted sports are AFL, cycling, mountain biking, cricket, judo and futsal (indoor five-a-side football).
Major events this year are Queensland Reds v ACT Brumbies (11th February at Barlow Park), Challenge Cairns Triathlon (3rd June) and Richmond Tigers v Gold Coast Suns (14th July at Cazalys).
AFL will come to Cairns for the second time with Richmond-Gold Coast Suns game as part of a three-year deal with AFL Cairns while the Queensland Reds will play a pre Super Rugby season trial against the ACT Brumbies.
Douglas said TTNQ was also close to securing a major masters event which could bring up to 3,000 competitors to the Far North, adding "we're looking at a masters event which would be held every two years."
TTNQ has created a Sports Co-ordinator position through funding from the Queensland Department of Sport and Recreation which will focus on upskilling local sporting bodies to enable them to host high level events.
Douglas suggests that this role will consist of helping North Queensland sporting bodies with activities such as "their marketing strategy or event managing, because most of the staff involved with these sports are volunteers, they don't have the time to do this themselves."
Image: Cazaly's Stadium
30th November 2011 - CAIRNS ADVANCES PLANS FOR $66 MILLION ‘RECTANGULAR’ SPORTS STADIUM
14th April 2011 - ARCHITECTS APPOINTED FOR CAIRNS CULTURAL PRECINCT
16th February 2011 - CAIRNS TO BUILD GOSFORD STADIUM REPLICA?
7th September 2010 - ENTSCH WANTS SPORTS FACILITIES IN CAIRNS CULTURAL PRECINCT
6th July 2010 - SPORT TOURISM TAKES CENTRE STAGE
9th June 2009 - SOUTH AFRICA OPENS FIRST STADIUM BUILT FOR 2010 WORLD CUP
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