Ironman Cairns Set to Deliver Major Tourism Boot Ahead of DestinationQ

5 Jun 2012 3:05 PMJann Stuckey

Friday, May 25, 2012

The upcoming Cairns Airport Adventure Festival is set to be bigger and better than ever, having already eclipsed last year’s participation numbers, setting new levels for participation across the 10-day sport and entertainment period.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey announced today the Coral Coast 5150 Triathlon, Cairns Airport Ironman Cairns race and the URBAN Hotel Group Ironman 70.3 Cairns have reached capacity – and numbers for other events are still rising.
“This major international sporting event in the lead up to our ground-breaking DestinationQ conference is a great example of how our investment in events is supporting tourism and helping to deliver on the LNP Government’s goal to make Queensland Australia’s number one tourism destination,” Ms Stuckey said today.

“The 2012 Cairns Airport Adventure Festival has received an outstanding response from across Australia and the world, with 2,500 athletes from 32 countries competing across the three triathlon events,” said Ms Stuckey.

“This is a huge increase of more than 600 from last year’s 1,900 participants – and with other events in the 2012 Festival still taking entries, participation numbers are still increasing.
“Last year’s event delivered an economic boost of more than $7.5 million to Queensland – more than double expectations, and this year’s event is set to be even bigger and better which is great news for the local tourism industry.”

“Athletes are travelling to Cairns from as far away as Greenland, the Netherlands and Hong Kong for this event, supported by the Queensland Government through Events Queensland and Tourism Queensland.”

The 2012 Cairns Airport Adventure Festival – starting this Sunday and including the Cairns Airport Ironman Race on Sunday, June 3 – also boasts the best field yet, with two-time Ironman champion Chris McCormack having announced he will be back in Cairns to defend his 2012 title. Australia’s Rebekah Keat will also be returning from a training stint in the US to defend her crown in the Cairns Airport Ironman Cairns race.

The field also includes Luke Bell, a 19-time Ironman 70.3 winner, South Australia’s Matthew White who finished second to McCormack last year, three-time Ironman Champion Luke McKenzie, fast improving David Dellow and perennial podium finisher Leon Griffin. This world-class line-up sets the stage for an impressive race.

“The quality of this year’s field is a great example of how the 2012 Cairns Ironman event is putting an international spotlight on Queensland, and helping to showcase Tropical North Queensland as a leading tourism destination,” said Ms Stuckey.

The festival is in the lead up to another key LNP Government initiative – the Destination Q conference – which will also be held in Cairns in the same month – June 25-26.

“DestinationQ is about restoring confidence in the tourism industry – and to host more than 2,500 athletes from across the world in Cairns just weeks before the conference shows that Queensland is back in business and proves Queensland has the ability to host quality international events,” said Ms Stuckey.

“The LNP Government has identified tourism as one of the four pillars of the economy. Our commitment is to double overnight visitor expenditure by 2020; injecting an extra $15 billion into the Queensland economy.”

The 2012 Cairns Airport Adventure Festival runs from 27 May to 4 June.

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[ENDS MAY 25, 2012]