Local events and festivals are reaping the rewards from Aussies increasingly choosing to travel locally, and a crafty little festival in Melbourne at the end of May is one of those seeing phenomenal growth on the back of the shift in travel habits.
Tourism Research Australia’s recently released National Visitor Survey shows a new high in domestic overnight trips reaching 81.4 million for the year ending December 2014—a first for Australian domestic travel.
The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS), which was just named as one of the top 20 beer festivals in the world by one of the most prestigious global beer magazines, Beer Connoisseur; has seen a 146 per cent increase in Aussies travelling to the event in Melbourne since its inaugural launch four years ago.
Its statistics show close to 20 per cent of its attendees to the event at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton are now from interstate and regional Victoria.
One of the draw cards for the event is its showcase of one-off creative brews, which include all manner of ingredients from oysters to biscuits; its educational element, live entertainment and gourmet food.
But co-founder of the event Guy Greenstone say it’s not just a numbers game and to benefit from the travel choices of Australians you need to be offering a quality, local experience.
“We’re not just creating a craft beer event, it’s about engaging, interacting and educating those who attend and showcasing how truly creative our artisan brewers are, from all over Australia and the world.”
The event has seen such success in Melbourne, it’s also taking place as a one-day event in Sydney for the first time this year.
“We have partnered with some terrific local Sydney restaurants including Three Blue Ducks, Cornersmith, Veggie Patch, Mary’s and LP Meats. There will be a demonstration kitchen and we will be making beer pairing suggestions for all the dishes and our brand new app will really enhance the beer and food experience.”
Acclaimed local brewers including Murray’s, Thirsty Crow, Riverside, 4 Pines and Young Henry’s will be among the many local, Australian and international breweries exhibiting in Sydney.
Guy says the event is about engaging those who love to travel for great food and experimenting with quality craft beer.
“Increasingly people are wanting a really authentic and interactive travel experience and that’s something we’ve been working hard to build on, to allow people to truly experience the best quality food and craft beer the region, and the country, has to offer, and we’re really excited to now replicate that in Sydney.”