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  • Wotif reveals Aussie towns in the running to receive new local festival after nationwide search

    17 September 2019 (Sydney, AUS) – Today, leading online travel site Wotif has announced four Aussie destinations in the running to win their very own festival, celebrating the town’s unique claim to fame.

    As part of Wotif’s Festival of Wot? initiative and after receiving thousands of ideas from across the country, Mudgee, NSW; Maryborough QLD; Clare Valley, SA;or Bowen, QLD could soon be home to a new local festival to call their own.

    Chosen for originality, tourism appeal and relevance to the local area, the four finalists represent the many unique stories and characters that make up regional Australia.

    The Festival of Wot? short-listed finalists:

    • The Festival of Redheads, Maryborough (QLD): This historic Fraser Coast town is known for its higher-than-average ratio of people with red locks, making it the ideal placeto celebrate Australia’s beloved redheads with their very own festival.
    • The Festival of Mangoes, Bowen (QLD): Home to the Big Mango and Australia’s most popular mango variety, the Kensington Pride (also known as the Bowen mango), Bowen is in the running to win its own festival dedicated to the juicy fruit.
    • The Festival of Snags, Mudgee (NSW): Known for its exceptional produce, the country town of Mudgee could snag a festival to celebrate its meaty excellence with locals and visitors alike. What’s not to love about an entire festival dedicated to Australia’s unofficial national dish?
    • The Festival of Wheat, Wool & Wine, Clare Valley (SA): Over 40 cellar doors, expansive farmland and good oldcountry hospitality could see Aussies flock to Clare Valley for the Festival of Wheat, Wool & Wine.

    With the vote now in the hands of the Australian public, it’s up to the country to decide which festival should take place, with Wotif set to bring the festival to life before the year’s end. The one-day festival will bring together local business owners, community groups and tourists from right across Australia to celebrate the winning town’s unique claim to fame.

    Of course, any great festival is more than just a name, and a host of quirky events are sure to take centrestage. Some unique ideas already proposed include a ‘Sausage Dog Parade’ at the Festival of Snags, a ‘Wig station’ at the Festival of Redheads, ‘Mango Shotput’ at the Festival of Mangoes and a ‘Make-Your-Own’ wine station at the Festival of Wheat, Wool & Wine.

    Daniel Finch, Wotif Managing Director congratulated Australia on a wave of excellent entries, highlighting the best that this country has to offer.

    “Aussies are renowned for their passion for the quirky and unexpected, and the raft of brilliant submissions we received for the Festival of Wot? show just that. From the ‘Festival of Bin Chickens’ in Brisbane, QLD, to the ‘Festival of Fake Tan’ in Orange, NSW, Australia did not disappoint.

    We can’t wait to see which festival Australia gets behind and we’re looking forward to working with the winning town to create an experience that locals will love and is worth travelling for.

    Our research confirms festivals are a proven way to support local economies and the Festival of Wot? aims to showcase one of these excellent destinations by giving Aussies a great new reason to explore it.”

    With Wotif research revealing that while almost 40 per cent of Australians travel specifically for events and festivals, close to half (48%) wish they attended more,the Festival of Wot? aims to encourage Aussies to discover something new within Australia. The research found over half (55%) of Aussies believe festivals are an inherent part of regional Australian tourism and that attending local festivals and events teaches them something new about Australia.

    Martin Simons, Fraser Coast Tourism and EventsGeneral Manager said:

    “As a region, we are always looking for innovative ideas to help promote ourselves and attract visitors; and I’m sure the Festival of Redheads would put us on the map, adding a unique dimension to our vibrant event and tourism calendar.”

    What’s more, 38 per cent of Australians attend festivals to support local communities, proving festivals are an important initiative for many regional and drought-stricken communities.

    Des Kennedy, Mid-Western Regional Council Mayor said:

    “Mudgee is excited to be nominated as a Festival of Wot? destination. We’re proud of our local wine, produce and meats that are grown and produced locally. To host the Festival of Snags would reinforce Mudgee as a foodie destination.

    “Our farmers are working tirelessly in tough drought conditions, so hosting the Festival of Snags will be a great opportunity to put our farmers and their amazing products on display.”

    The short-listed destinations hope the Festival of Wot? will bring their communities together and shine a spotlight on their local wares for the nation to see.

    Andrew Willcox, WhitsundaysRegional Council Mayor said:

    “Bowen has long been famous for being the home of Aussie mangoes. So, it just makes sense we would host a festival to celebrate these golden beauts. We’re thrilled to be short-listed for Wotif’s Festival of Wot? and to have the opportunity to showcase our region’s amazing produce to Aussies far and wide.”

    Lucy O’Brien, Clare Valley Wine& Grape Association General Manager said:

    “We are beyond excited that Clare Valley has been short-listed. This is an incredible opportunity for the region. An opportunity to bring everyone together to celebrate all the fantastic local produce we offer.”

    It’s expected the winning festival will help support local tourism, with Wotif research showing Australians have spenton average $421.56 at the last festival they travelled to on items including tickets, accommodation, food and beverages, shopping, and attractions. Given Aussies have, on average, visited fewer than one per cent of the 15,268 towns, cities and suburbs that dot the country , the chosen festival will provide Aussies with just another reason to explore their own backyard.

    Based on research conducted by Wotif, July 2019 which found the average Australian has visited 35 towns out of the 15,268 as cited by Australians Towns List, July 2019 Until 29 September 2019, Australians have the chance to vote for their favourite Festival of Wot? finalist. Voters will also go in the draw to win $2,000 towards their next Wotif Aussie holiday*. The winning town and festival will be announced on Thursday, 10 October 2019, with the festival to be held in November.

    Visit Wotif.com/festival for full competition details and to vote for your favourite finalist*.

    –- ENDS –-

    For further information or interview requests, please
    contact mailto:pr@wotif.com

    About the Research

    Research conducted on behalf of Wotif, July 2019. Total sample of 1,061 Australian adults 18+ distributed throughout Australia. All data is representative of age, gender and region population estimates.

    *Open to AU residents 18+ only. Between 6am (AEST) 17/9/19 & 11.59pm (AEST) 29/9/19, visit www.wotif.com/festival & fill out entry form incl voting for a festival suggestion. Max 1 entry per person & email address. Draw: 2pm (AEST) 3/10/19, 25/600 Bourke St, Melb 3000. 1 prize: $2k credit for AU domestic travel, booked at wotif.com before 31/12/19. Total prize pool $2k.

    See https://www.wotif.com/g/rf/competition-winners on 8/10/19 for winner. See Website for full conditions inc privacy statement. Promoter: Expedia Australia Pty Limited, ABN 12 101 694 946, Lvl 17, No. 1 Martin Place, Syd 2000. Sponsor: Expedia, Inc. Permit: NSW LTPS/19/36459

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