Coffs Coast gets Rally ready

COFFS Coast businesses have about 17 million reasons to start gearing up for the Australian round of the World Rally Championships, which is now just 38 days away.

Rally Australia has projected the event will bring a considerable financial benefit to the Coffs Coast, given an independent assessment of the 2009 Rally Australia found the event injected $16.9 million into the Tweed economy.

To ensure local businesses are prepared for the boom in trade, the Enterprise & Training Company (ETC) is hosting free, two-hour workshops to help operators prepare for and leverage off the event.

“We held our first workshop in Coffs Harbour on Tuesday, July 26, and it was attended by close to 30 business owners,” said ETC’s national manager business solutions, Karina Morrison.

“The workshops are designed to give business owners an idea of what a rally looks and feels like, so they can prepare their business for the influx of at least 20,000 spectators expected to descend on the Coffs Coast for this exciting event.

“This includes looking at where and when crowds will be at any one time.”

Ms Morrison said the spectator demographic was predominantly young families with a $50,000-$75,000 annual income.

“Rally is a family orientated event so businesses should be thinking about how they can cater for the needs, wants and interests of children as well.

“If we can keep the kids happy by providing child-friendly accommodation, dining experiences and entertainment, there is a good chance some of these families may return to the Coffs Coast.

Ms Morrison encouraged local businesses to “get connected” by signing up to Tourism NSW’s free website membership program.

“Although a lot of tickets have sold already, Rally Australia is expecting ticket sales to erupt about two weeks out from the event and this will have a flow-on affect on accommodation bookings.

“Accommodation providers with a strong online presence will be well-positioned to capitalise on this event with the motor sport website (Rally Australia) and its links being the number one information source for spectators.

Further workshops will be held in Bellingen on Wednesday, August 3, Nambucca on Thursday, August 4, and Coffs Harbour next Monday, August 8. For further information and to reserve a booking contact Natasha Swansborough at ETC on 6648 5435.

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