Winter Wonderland toasts to boosted visitation and spend in Mandurah

Mandurah’s quirky mid-year festival Winter Wonderland has toasted to a successful year after welcoming  about 16,000 people to the city centre. 

A report released by local government on the winter event revealed that the occasion’s boosted visitation generated an additional spend of $385,178 in the central business district.

The festival’s primary aim was to attract additional visitors to the city centre to support local businesses during the winter months.

The data came from surveys throughout the festival and debrief sessions with businesses, which was then compiled into the 2018 Winter Wonderland Evaluation Report.

The report revealed 92 per cent of attendees rated the event a positive experience and 74 per cent indicated spending at local businesses. 

Sixty-eight per cent said they would have stayed home or somewhere outside of Mandurah if Winter Wonderland was not on. 

In October, the City of Mandurah councillors accepted the report and showed their support for the festival to continue into the future. 

A highlight of the report was the increased business engagement the event created, which has already led to businesses working together on and investing in future activation projects.

In December 2017, city council approved to holding a Winter Wonderland themed event in 2018- 2020. 

The approved model was to develop a transitional model in 2018 and 2019 for it to be business run by 2020.

The  evaluation and the debrief sessions have revealed a series of recommendations for organisers to consider in 2019. These included: 

  • Location shift to the car park located further along Mandurah Terrace
  • Expressions of Interest are sought in November 2018 with an event manager appointed before Christmas 2018
  • Maintain profit share model but extend from ice skating sales to all ticketed events
  • Appointment of external event manager to be for a two year period
  • The event period to occur over a minimum of three weeks, including the winter school holidays
  • All ticketed event areas are to be under cover
  • Modify event management tender to $130,000 per year for two years