Bumper crowds expected at the historic 60th Mount Isa Rodeo
12 August 2018
Caravan Parks are overflowing, ‘Swag City’ bookings have doubled from last year’s event and Platinum and Gold reserved seating has been sold out for weeks ahead of what’s tipped to be the largest Mount Isa Rodeo in history.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said thousands of people lined the streets for the Isa Street Festival on Wednesday – a strong sign that numbers would be strong across the four-day event.
“Events like the Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo are an important part of the outback’s $573 million tourism industry,” Ms Jones said.
“The Isa Rodeo is an iconic Queensland event which now attracts around 15,000 people who spend more than $8 million each year.
“More than ever before, we’re finding that visitors to Queensland are looking for something different. Mount Isa has unique experiences in spades.
“We’re working hard to publicise these experiences in key tourism markets overseas.
“We expect strong numbers at the Isa Rodeo this year. This is a testament to the fact that our work is paying off.”
The 2018 event will also be Australia’s first rodeo to offer competitors the opportunity to qualify for the World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) $500,000USD semi-finals event to be held in Guthrie, Oaklahoma in November 2018.
“A new, landmark partnership between Professional Bull Riders Australia (PBRA) and WCRA is creating an international pathway for Australian rodeo athletes and another platform for Queensland’s iconic events to be promoted,” Ms Jones said.
“This opportunity for locals to compete at international level builds on the partnerships that the Isa Rodeo has created with US-based trade partners and media to support a consumer campaign and special broadcast production to drive US visitation to Queensland.
“We know that events drive visitation, promote our beautiful destinations and support local jobs.
“That’s why the government will invest an additional $36 million over the next three years for TEQ to attract more events.
“In the three years to March 2018, we’ve seen domestic visitor expenditure in the outback increase 11.1 per cent - we are committed to continuing to support the local tourism industry and events which continue to drive visitors to the outback.”
Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo General Manager Natalie Flecker said the rodeo was started in 1959 by the local Rotary Clubs who wanted to put the fledgling mining town of Mount Isa on the map.
“The event has been supported by Mount Isa Mines from its inception and has grown to become the largest rodeo in the southern hemisphere, attracting more than 600 competitors from around Australia and overseas and offering $230,000 in prize money and buckles,” Ms Flecker said.