Survey confirms Gold Coast Airport Marathon vital to sports tourism

Survey confirms Gold Coast Airport Marathon vital to sports tourism

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is going from strength to strength as a major tourism drawcard with the popular Queensland event receiving an overwhelming tick of approval through an online poll of 3100 participants of this year's marathon.

This month's awarding of the QSport 2013 Queensland Sport Event at the Queensland Sport Awards, cementing the marathon's international credentials, its value as a sports tourism driver was further highlighted with today's release of positive participant survey figures.

The results show close to three-quarters of visiting participants are likely to visit the Gold Coast for a holiday in the next three years based on their positive experience in the event.

And two-thirds of the 27,675 runners and walkers made the decision to participate before entries opened.

"Our 2013 participants made some very loud noises about what the Gold Coast Airport Marathon means to them and its contribution to the Gold Coast and Queensland's tourism industry," said Events Management Queensland General Manager Cameron Hart.

"For instance, 77 per cent believe the event makes a positive contribution to the Gold Coast's image, 52 per cent walked or swam at the beach over the weekend and 51 per cent rated the Gold Coast crowd support excellent.

"And the event boosted the Gold Coast accommodation and hospitality sectors with only 15 per cent of the respondents indicating they stayed at the house of a friend or family member," he said.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Jann Stuckey welcomed the survey results saying they provided an excellent insight into the marathon experience for visitors.

"These results reinforce the Gold Coast Airport Marathon's incredible success in providing participants with a spectacular winter sporting experience in Queensland's ‘Famous for Fun' destination," said Minister Stuckey.

"The event attracts significant visitation to our region with strong participation from Japan. We are expecting a big showing from Japan next year thanks to the outstanding performances at this year's event by Yuki Kawauchi and Yukiko Akaba.

"74 per cent of interstate and overseas participants said they were likely to book a Gold Coast holiday in the next three years, testament to the lasting influence of the marathon in showcasing the region as a premier events and holiday destination.

"The Queensland Government is proud to support signature events like the Gold Coast Airport Marathon as part of our commitment to double overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020."

Other interesting results from the survey include:

78.8% ranked ‘completing a personal challenge' as the most important reason for entering the Gold Coast Airport Marathon;

43.5% ran by themselves;

33.3% knew about the event through a friend or family member;

32.7% had three or more family members or friends watch them run;

64.1% achieved a personal best time in the race they participated in.

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is a three-time Queensland Tourism Award winner, a member of the Queensland Tourism Awards Hall of Fame and, earlier this year, took out the Spirit of the Gold Coast gong at the Gold Coast Media Awards.

It has also been granted a prestigious IAAF Bronze Label – the first Australian marathon to achieve such a distinction.

"We're already well down the track with the planning of our 5-6 July 2014 event and we look forward to building once again on the Gold Coast Airport Marathon's great national and international reputation," Mr Hart said.

"Our new website will also be launched later this month," he said.

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