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Floriade attracts strong visitor numbers

Bunches of tulips and other flowers were delivered to hospitals and aged care homes on Monday 14 October after Floriade finished for another year.

Head gardener Andrew Forster and his team cut the flowers in readiness for their post-event deliveries, after what was another successful year for the annual month-long celebration of spring.

This year’s Floriade ran from 14 September to 13 October and Sarah Boyd, Assistant Director Events Delivery for Events ACT, said there were strong visitor numbers overall.

The Heart Foundation’s early morning walks attracted close to 500 people during Floriade, which equates to about 1,500km walked. On Sunday 13 October, Dogs’ Day Out, 30 people and 34 pooches attended the walk.

Ms Boyd said from observations and talking to attendees, there was a considerable number of people visiting Canberra for Floriade.

“We know from previous years about 50%, or 200,000, visitors come from interstate or overseas,” Ms Boyd said, with the event bringing in just under $40 million to the economy.

The after-hours ticketed event, NightFest, held on 3-6 October, was well attended with the Friday night close to a sell-out.

A new initiative this year, Floriade in the Suburbs was also well received.

“We haven’t looked at the data in terms of converting it (attendance at Floriade in the Suburbs) to attendance at the event,” Ms Boyd said.

It is also unknown what the future has in store for the suburban concept.

“Based on our experience this year and the positive feedback, we would really hope that it would continue.”

Overall, Ms Boyd said the “weather was very kind to us” which assisted the attendance figures with about two days impacted by rain.

“But I’m always surprised. People still come out; they just come prepared with their umbrellas and raincoats.”

In addition to the flowers, Ms Boyd said the event is also about strengthening local partnerships and showcasing the Canberra region.

“We have fantastic local and regional producers to be able to showcase and it is a really powerful part of what we are building for the event,” she said. “It is not just beautiful flowers but all the other things that Canberra has to offer.”

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