IT’S official – the world loves us.
The Hastings has been recognised as a world-class event destination, winning a globally acclaimed World Festival and Event City Award.
After a successful submission from Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Greater Port Macquarie was awarded World Festival & Event City status by the International Festival & Events Association (IFEA), at an awards ceremony held in the United States.
“Our region is known for its great and growing range of events and festivals and we love that these provide opportunities for locals and visitors to enjoy and experience our beautiful place,” said director Jeffery Sharp.
“Achieving recognition via this prestigious international award is a testament to the hard working event organisers and volunteers who have created and deliver a diverse range of events every year.”
The award submission highlighted popular major events and home grown festivals that are enjoyed by locals and help attract a growing number of visitors to the region each year.
Major events such as Ironman Australia and NSW Touch Junior and Senior State Cups, together with local festivals such as Artwalk, Youth Week and Tastings on Hastings, all showcase the community’s passion and support for events.
The award also recognises council’s event strategy that works to ensure the region continues to build its reputation as a regional events hub, supporting the region’s growth.
“Council sponsored events helped to inject more than $34 million into the local economy during the 2016/17 financial year, supporting business growth and creating job opportunities for local residents,” Mr Sharp said.
“Being recognised internationally as a popular destination for events would not have been possible without the support of our local community, business owners and event partners and I’d like to pass on council’s congratulations to them all for their contribution.”
Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams welcomed the accolade and congratulated the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council on its successful submission.
“We’ve always known that the Port Macquarie region is one of Australia’s tourism gems and now the region is also world-renowned as a leading destination for major events,” Mrs Williams said.
“Events are an important driver for the region’s visitor economy, acting as a beacon for visitors to travel to Port Macquarie and stay in our hotels, dine at our marvellous cafes and restaurants, sample our local produce and visit our tourism attractions.
“The flow-on benefits are undoubtedly significant and this accolade will further support Port Macquarie to secure events in years to come.”
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said the IFEA Awards are an important global acknowledgement of the strength of NSW’s major events strategy and acclaimed reputation for delivering world-class event experiences.
“The awards acknowledge the great mix of sporting, cultural and community events Port Macquarie hosts as well as celebrating the international standard to which our regional cities deliver events,” Mr Marshall said.
“This award will underpin the NSW Government’s strategy to attract major events to Port Macquarie and bring more visitors to this remarkable region.”
Cities that have been recognised as a World Event and Festival City previously have included Sydney, London, Johannesburg and Shanghai.
The 2017 IFEA World Festival and Event City Awards were announced during the IFEA’s Annual Convention and Expo in Tucson, Arizona, USA.