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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 10 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 3224..


Floriade

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the minister for tourism. Floriade 2006 finished last Sunday. Can the minister please inform the Assembly of the success of this year's event?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question and acknowledge his interest in and support of the Floriade event and his attendance last Thursday evening at the sponsors' thank you. It is my pleasure to be able to report to the Assembly that Floriade 2006-Carnivale-the world on show-has been the most successful Floriade event yet. At the end of the event on Sunday evening we had had just shy of 350,000 people through the turnstiles, a 10 per cent increase on the turnstile figures for last year and, I am advised by Australian Capital Tourism, a record for the event.

I am sure that all members would agree that this is fantastic news and a great testament to all the hard work of Australian Capital Tourism, of the team at territory and municipal services, particularly Andrew Forster and his horticultural team who were involved in doing all the really hard work in putting this event together. I would also like to acknowledge the work of all of the industry partners and sponsors, who have all pulled together to work with the ACT government and the various departments to produce what has been a fantastic event.

The theme, of course, was Carnivale-the world on show and it included the world carnivale trail, which took tourists to attractions throughout the city and proved to be a great success. The use of cooperative marketing with 18 industry partners extended the experience of the tourists who visited Canberra for Floriade and it certainly should be acknowledged as a highlight of the event.

Among the other highlights were the spectacular display of internationally themed gardens, the best every entertainment program, the first every full-day kids' program and the successful world music concert series, and the ever popular horticultural exhibits and competitions, including the showcase gardens and the public exhibits.

It will be about six weeks before we know the final visitation numbers and the economic impact as not everyone goes through the turnstiles and we will need to factor in those who did not go through the turnstiles. Last year's event contributed just over $20 million to the ACT economy. With even more visitors this year, we may be able to better that figure.

It is worth noting that the success of Floriade comes on the back of the release of new national visitors survey results from Tourism Research Australia. The latest figures are for domestic overnight visitation for the year ending June 2006. I am sure all members will join me in congratulating Australian Capital Tourism in that the ACT has again defied the national trend by increasing domestic overnight tourism. The ACT had a 4.5 per cent increase compared with the year ended June 2005.

Mr Smyth: But where have you come from?


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