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28 May, 2021

Funds approved for Gran Fondo

DOUGLAS Shire Council this week approved funding of $50,000 for the inaugural Port Douglas Gran Fondo Festival to be held on September 9-11, 2022.

 Cairns-based event company Connect Sport Australia announced plans earlier this year for an annual major cycling festival which would inject more than $21 million into the Port Douglas region’s economy within the first three years.

 Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said the Gran Fondo Festival had potential to become the town’s annual showpiece sports event.  

 “The Gran Fondo will be a catalyst for economic activity in Douglas Shire during September next year,” he said.

 “We expect the festival to attract a high-yield visitor, while providing a vibrant atmosphere for our local community.

 “Major events like this can ensure the long-term sustainability of our local tourism industry which has been so detrimentally affected by COVID border closures.

 Connect Sport Australia Managing Director Bade Stapleton said the revised date for the Port Douglas Gran Fondo Festival would allow more time to plan and deliver a world-class event to lure high-spending cyclists and their families from around Australia to Port Douglas prior to the school holidays.

 “Port Douglas is the perfect location for a Gran Fondo – a European term for a big bike ride – as the festival will take over the community with cyclists and their families filling cafes, restaurants and the markets, supporting local retailers and visiting the many tourism operators within the Douglas Shire.”

 Cairns Airport Chief Executive Officer Richard Barker is confident that the Port Douglas Gran Fondo Festival will grow to become a signature event for Port Douglas.

 “This type of event-based tourism provides benefits for the wider Port Douglas community and is ideally suited to bring visitors to the region outside of the traditional peak,” he said.

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