Eclipse to inject $75m into Far Northern economy
IT lasts only two minutes, but the total solar eclipse this month will inject about $75 million into the Far Northern economy even in the unlikely event it draws fewer tourists than expected.
The huge economic windfall will be generated if just 35,000 visitors arrive for the eclipse, which is less than the influx of 50,000-60,000 that authorities anticipate.
A new economic analysis by Cairns Regional Council predicts the average stargazing tourist will stay in the region for five to nine days and spend about $1100 while they're here.
And tourism bosses are working to ensure the brief astrological phenomenon becomes the gift that keeps giving to the region's struggling economy.
"The challenge and the opportunity is that it takes place over such a short space of time... but we're not focused on just the black spot in the sky; it's how we use the opportunity to promote the destination," Tourism Queensland's Jeff Gillies said.
Authorities such as local councils and tourism organisations are spending big and investing significant resources to reap maximum returns.
Spectacular footage and photographs of the event will be beamed around the world, with plans for photographers and cinematographers to be stationed at key vantage points at Palm Cove and Port Douglas and in a helicopter flying over the Tablelands, Kuranda and the Great Barrier Reef.
The council's analysis shows the total impact to the region of attracting 35,000 tourists would be $75 million of direct and indirect benefits, and the creation of 382 jobs.
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Highlight: The solar eclipse will provide a huge economic windfall for the Cairns region.