NAFA has positive impact on local economy

The 2023 North Australian Festival of Arts (NAFA) had a $5.9 million direct impact to Townsville’s economy.

The figures are from the recently released NAFA Impact Report which has given insight into audience attendance, ticket sales, patron experience, economic impact and more.

Deputy Mayor Mark Molachino said the numbers highlight NAFA’s success.

“More than 52,000 people attended NAFA over the 24-day event with a multiplied economic impact of $17.9 million,” Cr Molachino said.

“NAFA is a celebration of arts, community and culture and it is really encouraging to see it so well supported.

“Close to 90 per cent of attendees rated the event as good or excellent and commented how much they enjoyed the content and how it made them feel positive, included and sparked their imagination.

“It also attracted people from outside Townsville which was evident in the economic impact it had with our retail shops, restaurants and hotels.

“NAFA’s impact goes well beyond its economic stimulus for our city, and it has long been associated for its inclusivity and accessibility.

“This was recently recognised as it was awarded Excellence in Accessible Tourism at the 2023 North Queensland Tourism Awards.

“More than 86 per cent of the community support Council’s goal to make Townsville a well-known arts, sports, events and recreational destination and events like NAFA help to deliver on that goal.

“The report has highlighted NAFA’s positive impacts for Townsville as preparations are well under way for 2024 NAFA.”

Next year’s NAFA is expected to be the biggest yet and will run from the new dates of 26 September to 13 October.

Helpmann Award winner Artistic Director and Co-CEO of Dancenorth Australia Kyle Page has joined NAFA as a guest curator for the 2024 festival.

Mr Page said he was thrilled to be joining the NAFA team for next year.

“NAFA stands as the quintessential artistic gathering in our region and continues to evolve and unfold year-on-year.

“NAFA’s commitment to the cultural tapestry of North Australia resonates deeply, and I am delighted to connect with their incredible team to explore new edges of creative possibility in 2024,” he said.

Cr Molachino said while NAFA is over for another year there was still plenty to do across Townsville.

“There’s performances on at our Civic Theatre, exhibitions at our galleries and activities at our libraries,” he said.

“To cap off the year we also have a big New Year’s Eve celebration at Riverway, The Strand and Magnetic Island on Sunday 31 December.”

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