Destination NSW is delivering on a promise to target regional visitor growth with the announcement that four top-line sporting events will be hosted in country areas over the next three years.
In 2022, the world’s best cyclists will head to Wollongong for the UCI Road World Championships as part of the state’s strategy to host ten world cups in ten years.
The event is a major draw card for a growing international army of cycling enthusiasts and is expected to swell visitor numbers to the ‘Gong as well as promote the south coast region and its attractions to an audience of millions worldwide.
Minister for sport Stuart Ayres said: “The eyes of the world will be on Wollongong for eight days in 2022, with an international viewing audience of 200 million people, more than 300,000 spectators and 500 media outlets staying in the region.
“More than one thousand competitors from more than 50 countries will compete and the event is expected to deliver $94 million to the NSW visitor economy.
“The Championships will see junior, under-23 and elite male and female athletes compete across the road race, individual and team time trial events, creating a world-class event for spectators.”
Cycling Australia CEO Steve Drake said: “Hosting the 2022 Road Worlds in Australia is a coup for the country and our sport.
“We are confident the event will attract interest across the country and inspire the next generation of Australian cyclists to ride their bikes for both sport and recreation.”
Over the next year, Regional NSW is also set to host three NRL Premiership matches.
The state government has partnered with the NRL to deliver the 2019 match-ups in Mudgee, Bathurst and Wagga Wagga.
Minister for tourism Adam Marshall said: “The NSW Government is committed to ensuring every corner of NSW gets its fair share of the record tourist dollars and investment coming into our state, and major sporting events are an excellent way to drive more visitors to the regions.
“Regional NSW has the facilities required to host major sporting events and I am delighted the NSW government has partnered with the NRL to showcase the best of the NRL in regional NSW.”
Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said the match in Mudgee would undoubtedly attract more out-of-town visitors to the well-known wine region.
“Mudgee has already proven it has a strong and passionate NRL fan base, with close to 9,000 fans turning out for this year’s Dragons match against the Raiders,” he said.
“With the additional promotional support, next year’s match will encourage more supporters to plan a trip to Mudgee, giving thousands of visitors the opportunity to see just how incredible our corner of NSW is.”
Bathurst will be the venue of the Penrith Panthers’ hosted round 3 on Saturday March 30, Wagga Wagga will be home to the Canberra Raiders’ round 10 clash on Saturday May 4 and Mudgee will host St George Illawarra Dragons’ round 10 match up on Sunday May 19.
The NSW government has also announced a partnership with Dubbo Regional Council to deliver a $250,000 marketing campaign focused on bringing families to the region during the summer school holidays.