Festival set to boost tourism
AS first light breaks over the Rose City tomorrow, residents will awake to a distinctly colourful CBD.
About 160 trees along Palmerin and Fitzroy Sts will be bombed with jumpers and decorations today, heralding the quirky winter festival familiar to all – Jumpers and Jazz.
Thousands of cashed-up visitors are also expected to begin their descent on the region, and watching that with satisfaction will be Warwick Tourism and Events CEO Tracy Vellacott.
Mrs Vellacott said while the festival would help bring priceless economy to the area, it was hard to estimate just how much.
“Major events like this and indeed even smaller events are helping to keep our regional tourism economy ticking over,” she said.
“Without a ‘gate’, it’s difficult to guestimate how many visitors the festival generates and exactly what dollar value can be placed on the financial benefit of events.”
However, Mrs Vellacott said figures could be drawn from accommodation bookings, which were going well.
“I understand there is ‘no room at the inn’ for the final weekend, and some establishments are also booked out this weekend,” she said.
“This would include some 223 motel rooms, 68 resort rooms, 73 B&B and self-contained cottages and around 20 cabins.
“Adding that up equates to more than $150,000 in accommodation revenue.”
On top of that she added, were the hordes of day-trippers, which comprise a significant market.
Just Because owner Sue Pulley said the festival was one of the busiest times in the year for businesses.
“It brings people to town and we see all different types of clientele coming through. There’s a constant stream of people up and down the main street,” she said.
Mrs Pulley will decorate her usual tree outside the shop and will have live jazz music outside with the Warwick High School band.
Next door, Lorraine’s owner Lorraine Dent was finishing preparations on her tree jumper. The business owner said the economy the festival brings is immeasurable.
“It creates a lot of business. Even last weekend, when there were jazz concerts in Allora and Stanthorpe, we got a lot of people who came through,” she said.
“It’s not just our business – it’s a knock-on effect. It creates business for the milk man and bakeries, down to people who sell the paper cups.”
Lorraine’s will have a literary night this Saturday, July 23, as well as live jazz on Saturday, July 23, Friday, July 29 and July 30.