Events conundrum

2016-10-27 06:00

THIS item is written from the Sport and Events Tourism Exchange in Pretoria. This gathering of eventers, government and tourism organisations covers many aspects of eventing within the context of destinations and tourism beneficiation.

One of the interesting discussion points here is the role of government agencies and entities in the presentation and funding of events and to what extent events could, or should, be funded from state coffers.

The easy aspect of this discussion is that if an event brings in hundreds and preferably thousands of overnight visitors into our area then more direct tourism benefit will accrue.

The scale of funding from organisations such as Ugu South Coast Tourism is dependent on the measure of tourist spend that accrues to the local economy. This is why we have reinvested in the new South Coast Bike Fest in 2017.

The government rationale is that events should within three or so years should be self-sustaining with further investment being sourced from the private, rather than the public, sector.

This principle does have certain merit, however, a well-resourced event with continued injection of public funds should be an open consideration, especially if the tourist spend ends up being anything above 20 times that of the investment from the public purse.

The other consideration is that many events such as our seasonal beach activations may not necessarily be a singular drawcard, but they are a distinct value-adding aspect for visitors and their families enjoying a holiday here on the South Coast.

A good all-round experience with lots to do and participate in gives visitors much choice and pricks a variety of leisure and sporting interests. This is why we will continue to support this type of event.

Sports and leisure codes will, however, need to be aware that funding of what we could term “micro events” will diminish and as such, eventers must source other investment and sponsorship spheres and be more commercially orientated.

This will allow us to attempt to present major drawcard events, which should have sound indication of high attendance levels and larger swathes of revenue flow.

During this exchange, I will be having meetings with other eventers to assess new event potentials for our beautiful destination.

I am hopeful that some new and creative event options will emerge.

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