NSW Government funding to boost events and tourism in the Port Macquarie-Hastings

New festival: Camden Haven Chamber of Commerce president Stuart Bate with Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams. The River Festival has received $10,000 from the NSW Government.
New festival: Camden Haven Chamber of Commerce president Stuart Bate with Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams. The River Festival has received $10,000 from the NSW Government.

An inaugural event in the Camden Haven is one of four in the region to receive vital funding from the NSW Government in an effort to boost tourism amid the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

The River Festival in the Camden Haven has received $10,000 as part of the NSW Government's $1 million 2020 Regional Event Fund.

Other successful events were awarded $20,000, including the Artwalk Festival, the Hello Koalas Festival and Treasure Hunt and the Elephant Trail Race.

Camden Haven Chamber of Commerce president Stuart Bate said the organisation has been working hard to boost the profile of the region and the valuable contribution of small businesses which reside there.

He said the organisation's members now have a presence on a number of committees to ensure the Camden Haven is included in decision making.

Mr Bate said it's intended the Camden Haven River Festival will become an annual event and run in conjunction with ArtWalk in October.

He said the event will complement other events including the Slice of Haven, Camden Haven Show, Laurieton Riverwalk Markets and Christmas celebrations.

"The festival will promote the Camden Haven as a desirable and vibrant lifestyle destination to visitors and the local community," he said.

"It will also highlight our natural resources (such as the river), entertainment, cultural offerings and community."

It's hoped the festival will engage local business operators and community members to participate in the planning and delivery of the single day event.

"It will showcase local music and art along the North Haven foreshore, bring the community together and attract visitors to come and stay longer in the region," Mr Bate said.

Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams said the funding support for events would be critical to reawakening the local tourism industry following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This is fantastic news for small businesses across our area," she said.

"These events bring in visitors who stay locally and spend locally. Events employ local residents and are important to the social and cultural fabric of the area.

"It has been incredibly tough for residents and businesses in recent months, so this NSW Government support is most welcome and will play a significant part in getting the Hastings back on track to be the vibrant community it's known to be."

The NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, will provide funding to 59 event organisers across the state to deliver events that will attract visitors and drive economic activity for local businesses.

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