The Weekly Advertiser

EDITORIAL | Holiday weekend provides insight

Dean Lawson editorial 2 2017

RELATED: Mixed bag for traders on Grand Final Weekend
Anyone living in a city or town on the Western Highway last weekend would have found it hard to ignore the number of South Australian football fans travelling to and from Melbourne.
Travellers, with colourful scarves and flags flapping from car windows adorned with images of sporting heroes, were everywhere.
At times, traffic on the highway was bumper to bumper and you didn’t have to be a scientist to work out that these willing travellers would stop at various locations during their long journey.
From early Friday to late Sunday the population of highway centres experienced dramatic population peaks and troughs. In Horsham, visitor numbers were already swelling in response to a national motorcycling event in town, Horsham Show and school holidays.
The amount of humanity rolling in and out of the region was never more evident than in Horsham on Sunday afternoon when long queues spilled from fast-food businesses operating in Dimboola Road while nearby May Park was a flood of people.
From a casual observer’s perspective, it seemed safe to assume that major centres such as Horsham, Stawell and Ararat and smaller towns such as Nhill, Kaniva and Dimboola would have done a roaring trade.
But deeper analysis revealed there were complications that made it tough for some to make the most of the potential increase in trade.
Friday, when much of the traffic was on the road and visiting the region, was a public holiday, which carried with it all sorts of financial overheads for businesses.
Some took the risk and experienced mixed results and others closed the doors. There’s no doubt there were plenty of winners with the highway hospitality sector leading the way.
But it was a unique circumstance and Business Horsham’s Wendy Mitchell is right in warning that the chances of everything naturally lining up again to counter the negative impact of the AFL Friday public holiday are slim.
She’s also right in promoting the idea that as communities, now that we’ve seen what can happen, we should be exploring ways to make the most of promotional opportunities that might fall on or be scheduled for the same weekend.
While we can’t control all circumstances surrounding business activity, we’re not completely powerless either.
It might be that we just need to continue to be proactive, creative and positive in how we draw people into our region.

The entire October 4, 2017 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Oct 4 2017

Posted by on Oct 4 2017. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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