Peak season cushions economic blow

Pierra WillixBusselton Dunsborough Times

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley is confident Southbound’s cancellation will have “minimal economic impact” for local accommodation providers, given the festival’s timing during the region’s peak tourism season.

However, he lamented the loss of the event, which drew thousands of young people to Busselton, and said its loss would be felt by the Busselton Football Club and local vendors. Cr Henley told the Times the City had been informally notified the event would not proceed last month and said it was understandable organisers had made the decision, noting lower patronage at last year’s December festival.

“Southbound made a worthwhile contribution to the community both locally and culturally,” he said.

Cr Henley said Southbound injected revenue into the Busselton Football Club, event infrastructure providers and businesses including cafes, restaurants, bottle shops and service stations, and said these providers may notice a decline in revenue over the period in question.

“However, given the on-site camping arrangements for festival-goers and the fact that the region is at peak tourist capacity at that time anyway, we expect minimal economic impact on local accommodation providers,” he said. Cr Henley said the event attracted an average of about 8000-10,000 participants annually but said not all of those were visitors to the region.

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