Great Barrier Reef marathon injects $2.5 million into local economy
THE Tropical Journey’s Great Barrier Reef Marathon injected more than $2.5 million dollars into the local economy last month in a huge boost for the region.
General Manager Jess Uhlig paid tribute to the events major sponsors and ambassadors, but reserved special praise to the volunteers that helped make the festival the most successful yet.
More than 2500 room nights were booked for the weekend with more than 762 ‘day trippers’ making the journey to Port Douglas for the rapidly growing marathon. Room nights increased by more than 500 in 2016.
“The Tropical Journeys Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival was a huge success with over 1937 participants from all over the world,” Uhlig said.
“Our team would sincerely like to thank all of our ambassadors, local government and sponsors, especially Tropical Journeys for their continued support.
“The biggest thanks, however, we reserve for our amazing 200 strong volunteers who helped make everything flow on the day – we really couldn’t have done it without you”.
A participation increase of more than 23 per cent helped the event raise more than $60,000 for marine research, while Federal MP Warren Entsch also announced a $150,000 cash injection to expand the Run for the Reef events to Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Singapore from next year and beyond.
A group of 22 Chinese runners from the 43,000 strong Chinese Running Club also travelled to take part.
“The feedback from all our international participants including our Japanese agent bodes well for the future international flavour of our event,” Uhlig said.
“It really was an exciting weekend and on your behalf of the entire team we again want to thank our fantastic volunteer groups, who are the foundation of this event, for their incredible efforts.”
Next year’s Tropical Journey’s Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival will be held on the weekend of October 21 – 22nd, with ambassadors Steve Moneghetti, Jess Trengove and Ben Southall all returning.