Ernst & Young assesses community perceptions of major Newcastle events


The City of Newcastle engaged global accounting firm Ernst & Young to assess community perceptions of major events with a statistically sound survey of 650 residents and businesses, and to undertake an economic analysis of the Newcastle 500 as part of an ongoing review and planning process.

Major events enjoy wide support from residents and businesses, while each Newcastle 500 Supercars generates an average economic output of $ 36.2 million and 149 jobs, according to Ernst & Young.

Business support for events is particularly strong, with more than three-quarters of them stating that the benefits of major events outweigh disruptions, while 88% believe that major events are an advantage for businesses in the LGA.

The benefits of major events are also enjoyed across the region, with 96% of accommodation providers outside of Newcastle claiming major events benefit the region as a whole.

Newcastle City Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the events were a key part of realizing the City of Newcastle’s vision to be a vibrant emerging global city and noted that “Newcastle’s position as event city has grown since the early days of Surfest in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until we delivered our first Newcastle 500 in 2017 that the rest of Australia really realized it.

“Research tells us that events provide both immediate and ongoing benefit to the community and the economy, with better outcomes in terms of attendance, investment and quality of life.

“Local tourism and accommodation providers who have been hit hard by COVID-19 will look forward to and benefit from the economic boost provided by the return of the Newcastle 500 in March of next year.

“Major events in Newcastle, whether it’s motor racing, music festivals or world-class surfing, are here by design, not by accident. Based on research like the Ernst & Young reports, we will continue to work to strengthen Newcastle’s position as a city of world events. “

When asked which major event had the most positive impact on bottom line, the Newcastle 500 came out on top for both local businesses and area hosts. The Council’s annual budget for the Newcastle 500 (including license fees for Destination NSW and services provided to Supercars) is $ 1.6 million, which means that for every $ 1 of taxpayer money invested in the race, $ 22.60 is donated to the local economy.

Over 80% of residents said major events were an advantage for the city, and 60% were either in favor or neutral for the Newcastle 500 pursuit.

Ernst & Young’s economic assessment measured the impact of the Newcastle 500 2017, 2018 and 2019 events, finding an upward trend in the number of spending international and interstate visitors offsetting a slight drop in total spectators since the inaugural event.

Business Hunter chief executive Bob Hawes has said the return of major events to Newcastle is something to look forward to as the city emerges from COVID-19 restrictions.

Hawes notes that “the events are bringing a significant amount of economic stimulus, particularly through the visitor and hospitality sectors, which are the ones suffering the most right now from COVID-19.

“Supercars Australia’s confirmation that the Newcastle 500 will be back in March 2022 has been very positive news for Hunter’s businesses, and the research released by the City of Newcastle matches the feedback we are receiving from many of our members. “

Ernst & Young partner Erik Heller said a cautious methodology was adopted to analyze the benefits of major events, while the economic impact of the Newcastle 500 was determined by estimating the direct and indirect expenses of people who visited Newcastle for the event or extended their stay. following the event.

Heller explained “Ernst & Young has taken a balanced, statistic-based approach to assess the awareness, perception and sentiment of residents, businesses and accommodation providers towards major events in Newcastle.

“To capture a strong sample of people living in the local government area, quotas and weighting were applied to provide results representative of Newcastle’s population based on age, gender and neighborhood populations.

“The weighting process was also applied to data collection from businesses, given that 17% of businesses are located in the city center and 83% in the larger LGA in Newcastle.”

Relevant reports, “Assessment of Major Newcastle Events” and “Economic Impact of Newcastle 500 Supercars Event” can be downloaded here https://newcastle.nsw.gov.au/business/business-in -newcastle / newcastle-500 / newcastle-500-event-documentation

Image courtesy Supercars

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