Mackay tourism industry set for injection from events

The tourism industry is ready for the next big injection of visitors to the region, thanks to some major events scheduled for August and September.

There have been positive signs in visitor number growth over the past 12 months, but forward bookings for August and September are showing signs of real confidence in the industry, and operators say it is a direct result of the region’s events calendar.

Mackay’s newest accommodation provider, Riveria Mackay, has seen positive signs of this increase, already fully booked out for September. 

“I do think that these events have a positive influence on tourism business in Mackay,” General Manager of Riviera Mackay, Noud Muskens, said.

“Since opening, business has steadily increased as people are becoming more aware of the product we are offering.”

Mackay Regional Council’s Invest Mackay Events Attraction Program supports major sporting and cultural events, concerts and conferences to stimulate the local economy and has provided support for 19 events since the beginning of 2017, and have another 20 supported events scheduled for the remainder of the year.

Some of these events include the AFL and NRL games in February, and the upcoming Rugby Sevens games in August.

However, the big event which is set to put The Mackay Region on the map is Elton John’s ‘Once in a Lifetime’ tour, with Mackay one of only three regional locations in Australia to be selected to host the British superstar in September.

Mackay Regional Council Cr Amanda Camm said it was a win-win situation for both locals and tourists.

“Major events and conferences help boost the economy and provide wellbeing, lifestyle and cultural benefits to local residents and beyond.”

“Our lively events and conference calendar also boosts tourism numbers and creates fantastic industry growth opportunities for local operators and businesses.”

General Manager of Mackay Tourism, Tas Webber, said events are a huge stimulator for tourism, and have lasting effects.

“Events like the Elton John concert, or the Mackay Beach Horse Races, gives us the chance to put our best foot forward and show visitors a great time when they arrive in Mackay,” Mr Webber said.

“Our tourism industry knows the importance of ensuring visitors are well looked after when they arrive for events. This will lead to increased length of stay, the dispersal of tourism dollars in the region, and a guarantee that we will see them back again next year!” 

Major upcoming events in August/September include:

  • August 5 - Sugar City Con - Mackay Showgrounds
  • August 6 - Mackay Mountain Marathon - Eungella
  • August 17 - 18 - 2017 Australia vs Japan Men's Rugby 7s - BB Print Stadium
  • August 19 - Mackay Airport Beach Horse Races - Mackay Harbour Beach
  • August 19 - Sarina Beach Coconut Festival - Sarina Beach
  • August 27 - Seaforth Car Show and Megamarkets - Seaforth
  • August 30 - Sep 1 - Taxi Council Queensland Conference - MECC
  • September 3 - Grasstree Beach Motorbike Races - Grasstree Beach
  • September 9 - Mackay Bluewater Fling - Bluewater Quay
  • September 17 - City Centre Criterium - Mackay City Centre
  • September 22 - Elton John & his band - BB Print Stadium
  • September 23 - City Centre Elton John Party - Mackay City Centre
  • September 23 - TimberFest - Rowallan Park
  • September 23 - 24 - Mackay Triathlon - Mackay Harbour
  • September 25 - Oct 1 - Eungella Bird Week & Bushwalking Festival
  • September 29 - Oct 2 - Bulls Masters Country Challenge Cup - Harrup Park
  • September 30 - River 2 Reef Charity Ride - Bluewater Quay
  • September 30 - Oct 1 - Queensland State Mountain Bike Championships


Melissa Woods - Communications Officer

0448 994 180

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Published: 4 August 2016


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