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Published on : Thursday, June 25, 2015
Total numbers across all races are expected to go close to 27,000 for the 37th Gold Coast Airport Marathon on 4-5 July.
Tourism and Major Events Minister Kate Jones said the surge in competitors in the marquee marathon race was mainly due to strong growth across a number of key Asian markets, as well as an increase in interstate runners of almost seven per cent.
“The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is one of the world’s premier road running events,” Ms Jones said.
“It was the first marathon in Australia to attain the prestigious IAAF Road Race Gold Label, and it provides an ideal opportunity to promote the Gold Coast and the State to international markets.
“The 2012 event attracted 5,732 entrants for the marathon, itself. To break that record a fortnight out from the 2015 event is an outstanding result.
“The 2015 event is expected to generate more than $20 million and 70,000 visitor nights, which underlines how successful the Gold Coast Airport Marathon has become,” Ms Jones said.
Ms Jones said Events Management Queensland, worked with Tourism and Events Queensland to identify a number of key markets in Asia where gains could be made with greater marketing activity following last year’s event.
“Work undertaken by TEQ in partnership with Gold Coast Tourism, Gold Coast Airport and Tourism Australia has generated international interest and boosted this year’s result,” she said.
“This year’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon is expected to welcome more than 3,000 competitors from overseas across the entire event, which highlights the global appeal of the running festival.
“On the back of a strategic marketing campaign, we have seen a significant increase in runners coming from China, while there has also been excellent growth in registrations from Malaysia and Hong Kong.
“Direct flights to the Gold Coast from Japan with Jetstar, and services from Malaysia and Singapore with Air Asia and Scoot, have contributed to the growth from these countries as well as China.
“With Qantas resuming direct daily flights from Tokyo to Brisbane in August, we are continuing to build our links with Asia and there is the opportunity to attract even greater numbers to this event in the future.”
Ms Jones said Tourism and Events Queensland would host around 30 international media throughout the marathon weekend, to gain additional exposure for the event in several key markets.
Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer, David Collins, said the airport was proud to be the gateway to the tourism destination and play a part in the continued growth of the running festival.
“During our 13-year association with Gold Coast Airport Marathon we have taken pride in assisting to grow the event, especially in terms of international competitors,” Mr Collins said.
“Over that period we have seen international services from New Zealand expand and welcomed direct services from Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.
“We’ve no doubt the recent announcement of direct services from Wuhan will also have a positive impact.
“Domestically, accessibility has never been easier for interstate travellers with over 25 flights per day from Sydney and more than 15 from Melbourne.
“It’s great to see passenger numbers over Gold Coast Airport Marathon weekend continue to rise year on year.”
The Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be held on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 July in one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world in Queensland, Australia.
It is set to attract more than 27,000 participants of all ages and abilities across a number of events including the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Wheelchair Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Wheelchair 15km, Southern Cross University 10km Run, Suncorp Bank 5.7km Challenge and Junior Dash 4km & 2km races.