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Editions

Visitors cost us $30 each

02 Jul 2013

Visitors cost us $30 each Image

By Bethany Williams

Destination Docklands only attracted about 5000 people to Docklands with the $150,000 it was given by the City of Melbourne as compensation for the cancellation of last New Year’s Eve 9.30 fireworks.

The marketing body conducted four events in lieu of the fireworks and spent nearly $30 for each visitor it attracted.

The council’s $150,000 was spent on Farewell to Summer, Tennis on Ice, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival at Harbour Esplanade and Welcome to Winter.

Figures collected by Docklands News, through post-event discussion with Destination Docklands and observation, indicate that approximately 5030 people attended the fireworks replacement events.

This figure does not include people who visited the Farewell to Summer sand sculpture installation, but does include attendees to the Farewell to Summer – Dig Docklands event.

The approximate attendance figure of 5030 people calculates to an average of $29 spent per attendee to each event.

Last financial year, Destination Docklands spent $600,000 attracting visitors to Docklands through events and marketing.

Apart from the NYE compensation events, other 2012-2013 events included support for the Arts and Laughs Festival, a Water Ratrace Corporate Challenge, four Christmas markets and an Australia Day event.

In its successful submission to the council for future funding, Destination Docklands said 5000 people attended both its Christmas markets and Australia Day events.

According to Arts and Laughs festival organiser Melissa Head, about 4000 people attended. Destination Docklands contributed 50 per cent of the marketing effort for the festival and is, accordingly, credited with 50 per cent of the attendance.

Around 100 people participated in the Water Ratrace Corporate Challenge.

These figures, combined with the 5030 attendees to the NYE compensation events, result in an approximate attendance of 17,130 at all Destination Docklands events.

Destination Docklands CEO Anita Donnelly said nearly all the attendance figures collected by Docklands News were inaccurate, despite most of them having been provided by her organisation.

Ms Donnelly said Destination Docklands held 13 events in 2012-2013 and attracted 48,124 people to Docklands. However, Ms Donnelly did not reply to Docklands News’ requests for itemisation of these figures.

She said her 48,124 figure did not include visitors to the Farewell to Summer sand sculptures that were installed on Harbour Esplanade for two weeks which had attracted “hundreds, if not thousands” of people.

“The 13 events attracted over $1 million worth of positive media and PR exposure for the destination, which was obtained by Destination Docklands,” Ms Donnelly said.

“Positive promotion of the destination through events is vital to Docklands as it encourages visitation on non-event days as we have so much more to offer.”

Destination Docklands has secured a further three-year funding agreement with City of Melbourne.

At a council meeting on May 28, the council agreed to approve a second and third year funding commitment of $300,000 per year for 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Council had already committed to a $300,000 funding agreement for 2013-2014 in its annual budget.

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