The annual Targa Tasmania tarmac rally, to be held for the 11th time later this month, has injected a total of $100-million into the State's economy in the 10 years since its inception in 1992.
Targa general manager Rob McGuire said a survey by Tourism Tasmania and the Bureau of Statistics had documented that the event brought $5-million into the State each year, with an annual flow-on effect of another $5-million.
"The new tourism dollars that have come into Tasmania as a result of Targa in the past 10 years have been of great value to the local economy, and we plan to build on that in the future," said Mr McGuire.
"Importantly, the event visits all parts of Tasmania, not just the cities, so many smaller communities and towns are sharing in these benefits."
Mr McGuire said this year's event - from April 16-21 over 1,977km – would attract about 1,500 mainland and international competitors to Tasmania, plus service crews, manufacturer personnel, and others associated with the rally.
They were all expected to spend a minimum of 10 days in Tasmania, generating around 15,000 overnight accommodation bookings and providing a financial boost for travel operators and airlines.
Mr McGuire said the Tasmanian branch of Octagon Worldwide, owners and producers of Targa, dealt with approximately 100 businesses in the State, on things ranging from accommodation and travel for officials, down to smaller items such as printing and stationery.
Local charities and service clubs also benefit from fund-raising activities during Targa such as providing lunches and washing cars, and Mr McGuire said the Tasmanian Government's Department of State Development placed a high level of importance on the promotional benefits of the event.
"High-profile manufacturer teams and competitors such as Jim Richards, Peter Brock, Neal Bates and others are publicity-magnets," he said. "They create a lot of media attention for Targa and Tasmania, and that ultimately helps tourism." Pictured is Jim Richards in his 2001 Targa winning Porsche - he will drive the same car this year, but it will be 20kg heavier under revised regulations.
Mr McGuire said the involvement of almost 3,000 volunteers annually from all areas of the State reflected the pride Tasmanians had in the success of the event.
"It's a big job with close to 300 cars on the road for five days, but the people of Tasmania are happy to get behind it and we couldn't do it without their support," he said.
Octagon Worldwide’s other motorsport events in Australia include the Grand Prix Rally in Victoria in March and the Australian Safari international cross-country rally in NSW in August.