BIG EVENTS BOOST REGION: Rhys Bond, Jackson Bateman, and Bryce Bateman eagerly watch the Warwick campdraft
BIG EVENTS BOOST REGION: Rhys Bond, Jackson Bateman, and Bryce Bateman eagerly watch the Warwick campdraft

New numbers reveal visitors bring in big bucks for Warwick

AS VISITORS flock to the region to celebrate the final day of Rodeo weekend, and recent numbers from the 2019 Polocrosse World Cup are revealed, it appear the power of tourism for the Southern Downs is stronger than it seems.

Recent numbers, from a Queensland Government report, show the Adina Polocrosse World Cup in April brought in a whopping $5,681,828 to Warwick.

This spending saw the region’s revenue increase by 40 per cent, with the majority of spenders coming from interstate.

Polocrosse World Cup 2019 committee chairman Les Fraser said the numbers only highlighted why Warwick should get the shot to be on an international stage.

“I think it’s a great example of what regional towns can do with international events,” Mr Fraser said.

“It goes to show what regional centres can do given the opportunity.

“We need to have events, they have a greater ability to attract visitors to town than anything else.”

Queensland Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the data would only bolster job security in the region.

“More tourists means more tourism jobs for locals. That’s exactly what major events deliver,” Ms Jones said.

“More than half the visitor nights recorded this year were booked out by interstate or international tourists. This is a testament to the growth and widespread appeal of this event.”

The report also comes just as Warwick rodeo gets ready to launch into full fanfare this weekend.

Last year the Warwick Rodeo drew more than 30,000 visitors.

While it is still early days for a full headcount, on Friday, rodeo spokeswoman Teilah McKelvey said numbers were looking just as favourable.

“We’re at day five and crowds are pretty impressive,” Mrs McKelvey said.

“I think (Friday night) and (Saturday) night are a keen indicator things will only improve.”

Mrs McKelvey said she had also heard all accommodation was booked out for the weekend, something to which Freedom Lifestyle Caravan Park manager Cathy Aston could attest.

“We are fully booked. We can’t fit another person in,” she said about the Wallace St caravan park.

While Ms Aston said she always wrangled a good crowd for the rodeo, this was her biggest yet, to her surprise.

“With the water situation I didn’t think we’d get the same sort of numbers,” she said.

“A lot did have to cancel due to drought but as soon as someone can’t make it, someone else jumps right in there.”

“With the rodeo, the revenue comes into town … not just accommodation but food, entertainment, everything.”

Mr Fraser said polocrosse numbers had doubled since Warwick hosted the World Cup in 2007 — proof tourism would keep Warwick alive.

“We need to host big events, if we don’t keeping hosting events, what’s left of the region?”