Coffs rallies for championships
VISITOR numbers are up, our tourism icons are winning awards, and now the call is out for Coffs Coast residents to get behind a series of world-class events arriving on our doorstep.
In the coming weeks, Coffs Coast will roll out the welcome mat for 20 major events that will capture the festive atmosphere our region offers.
A significant boon will arrive in the form of the Coates Australia World Rally Championships, with an estimated 52,000 spectators tipped to soak up the action.
The event is expected to deliver a $13 million boost to the local economy.
Following reports some accommodation providers have increased prices to capitalise on the demand, the call is now out for businesses and residents to "support the event that supports Coffs".
"September is not the peak tourism season so having the World Rally is a bonus for tourism," Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser said.
"We have to make sure we're fully supportive of it in everything from fair accommodation costs through to making sure we have smiles on our faces.
"The World Rally board have been lobbied by China, India and South Africa, who would love to host this rally.
"The support of Coffs Harbour has been noted by the board and the FIA, so we have to get behind the event to continue to attract it in years to come."
As the Coffs Coast cements its reputation as the state's regional centre capable of hosting major events, marketing bodies have also stressed the importance of good first impressions.
Coffs Harbour City Council group leader of city prosperity Nikki Greenwood said a diverse group of foodies, music lovers and adrenalin-seekers would arrive on the coast in the coming weeks.
"Let's show our visitors why we love living in the beautiful Coffs Coast region," Ms Greenwood said.
"We encourage the entire community, both people and business, to get behind the exciting program, with businesses extending a warm welcome to visitors and locals alike."
On the back of figures showing the Coffs Coast received more than 1.7 million visitors last year, Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight is encouraging residents to get involved in the events.
"This year we've had the World Cup, the Blues camp, and our annual events like Chilli Fest and Curryfest - to name a few," Cr Knight said.
"Coffs Harbour is an amazing place to live and to be, so if you see a visitor on the street, give them a smile and make them feel welcome."