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eventsEVENT cancellations due to COVID-19 has cost the Wimmera and southern Mallee more than $15 million.
Wimmera Development Association has surveyed 40 events scheduled across the region between March 22 and May 31 . Health advice and social distancing forced organisers to cancel or postpone plans due to COVID-19.
Event organisers forecast these cancellations cost the region $15.392 million in direct event expenditure and a further $7 million in indirect expenditure. This affected almost 60,000 participants with more than 20,000 day trips and 36,000 overnight visitors staying in the region about 75,000 nights forfeited. Organisers say their groups lost more than $800,000 in direct revenue and more than $120,000 in surplus.
More than 20 of the community, cultural and sporting events surveyed were due to occur in Horsham Rural City, with seven in Northern Grampians shire and six in Yarriambiack shire. These included annual drawcards such as the Stawell Gift, Grampians Grape Escape and Horsham Country Music Festival.
Wimmera Development Association executive director Chris Sounness said the region had a vibrant autumn events calendar, centred around Easter.
"Events are an important part of the Wimmera community, playing a major role in bringing the community together and attracting visitors to the region,” Mr Sounness said.
“Early into the response to COVID-19, we realised the cancellation of these events was going to have huge impacts in our region – financially and socially – and these results paint a powerful picture of that impact.”
For further information on this study please contact Executive Director - Chris Sounness This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.