Connor Cockerton and Simone Manski from Childers State School at the eisteddfod yesterday.
Connor Cockerton and Simone Manski from Childers State School at the eisteddfod yesterday.

Eisteddfod boosts tourism

COMPETITORS Connor Cockerton and Simone Manski are not the only ones making a lot of noise about the Queensland Eisteddfod.

Tourism operators are also making a song and dance about it, as more than 800 competitors plus their families and spectators have started descending on Maryborough this week, ahead of the Easter long weekend.

“The choral society from Caloundra have been booked in for it since last year,” Mineral Sands Motel manager Grace Conescu said.

“We’re fully booked from the Thursday (before Good Friday) through to Monday.”

Best Western Kimba Lodge partner Erica Evans said several people involved with the Eisteddfod were staying this week, and she was almost fully booked for next weekend.

“We don’t normally get booked out for Easter so it is busier than usual,” Ms Evans said.

Flow-on effects of the musical extravaganza could reach into hundreds of thousands of dollars, with the crowd set to spend up on accommodation, meals and visiting tourist attractions.

Queensland Eisteddfod Fraser Coast committee president Peter Leney said the junior competition this week would start the ball rolling, with children from schools all over the region taking part.

But he said the real rush would start next Thursday, ahead of the adult events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“We’ve got 800 people singing at one time for the welcome ceremony on Saturday,” Mr Leney said.

“I don’t know if they’ll all fit on the stage.”

He said out of the 345 entries, many were massed choirs that have a minimum of 30 members.

“If you’ve got 30 to 50 people in a choral group, they are going to take up a lot of hotel rooms,” Mr Leney said.

“Eisteddfods are where a lot of very famous people got their starts.”

Fraser Coast Regional Councillor Linda Harris said tourism operators should make the most of the opportunity.

“The Eisteddfod only comes along every eight to 10 years, so I’d encourage every business to be available to them,” Cr Harris said.

“There’s a double-barrelled effect, because not only can local people be exposed to the wonderful talent, but the flow-on effects financially will be great.”

She said many of the choirs had booked local halls and function rooms to practice in ahead of their big event, and entrants would also be looking to experience a taste of the Fraser Coast at local restaurants.

“(The flow-on effect) even comes down to the fuel they will buy here to go home again,” Cr Harris said.

“We want them to take away a great impression of our community so they come back again.”

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