The world-renowned Santos Tour Down Under is gearing up to race through the Fleurieu this Australia Day long weekend, with Stages 5 and 6 hitting a number of towns across the region.
With bumper crowds expected, and stage finishes in Victor Harbor and Willunga, local businesses, tourism operators and district councils are expecting big economic benefits.
In 2019, the TDU attracted over 800,000 roadside spectators, and generated over $70m in revenue across the state.
The 100% Stage 5 held on January 25, will see riders begin in Glenelg before heading through Old Noarlunga, McLaren Flat, Meadows, Macclesfield, Strathalbyn, Currency Creek, Goolwa, Middleton and Port Elliot, before finishing in Victor Harbor.
The Australia Day Be Safe Be Seen Stage 6 begins in McLaren Vale and trails through Willunga, Aldinga Beach, Port Willunga and Aldinga, before finishing atop Willunga Hill.
Major events such as the TDU, play an essential role in the City of Victor Harbor's economy by providing a compelling reason to initially visit, spend money within the community and then return in the future to once again enjoy the region's uniqueness, according to a City of Victor Harbor spokesperson.
"Running and supporting such major events can be resource-intensive, creating a whole-of-region approach and providing a higher return on Council's investment for the whole community," said the spokesperson.
"The prestige of the Santos Tour Down Under, being Australia's premier cycling race, provides substantial value to the Victor Harbor community through economic benefit for cafes, accommodation providers, tour operators, and retail outlets, as well as community involvement, volunteers, community spirit, and a sense of pride; and significant media coverage resulting from the event."
The 2016 Santos Tour Down Under brought 2124 City of Victor Harbor mentions worldwide, with a potential audience reach of 25.90 million and PR value of $36.53 million.
"Not only can we expect some thousands of visitors, which will provide significant benefits to our local economy, but Victor Harbor and the Fleurieu region will be in the global spotlight as people from around the world tune in to watch the pro cycling tour event," said City of Victor Harbor mayor Dr Moira Jenkins.
Alexandrina mayor Keith Parkes said the Santos Tour Down under had proven economic and social benefits to the regions it traverses, and that it was fantastic to see the community and businesses get involved through collaborative involvement, decoration of premises and promotion of the region.
"The race also highlights our natural environmental diversity, cultural identity and attractions of each township," Mr Parkes said.
"To see people out and about, getting involved in supporting such an iconic event, which we are fortunate to have pass through our backyard, is certainly a highlight I will enjoy this year. The event brings the state to the world stage; and putting the spotlight on Alexandrina to highlight our townships and their surrounds is a wonderful thing."