IT HAS been tagged as a 'megatrend' in the tourism sector, and now adventure racing is coming to Ipswich in a big way.
Leading national adventure race organisers In2Adventure and Ipswich City Council will bring a weekend of adventure racing to the city in November.
The schedule will see an action-packed combination of mountain biking, trail running and obstacle courses through the scenic Kholo region.
An expected 600 participants will take part in the event.
Cr David Morrison, who oversees the parks, sport and recreation portfolio on council, said expectation was high ahead of the weekend series.
"This will be the first time the phenomenally popular Adventure Race Australia Series touches down in Ipswich," Cr Morrison said.
"Adventure racing is a sport that is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds as more people embrace the opportunity to challenge themselves against each other and against the elements," he said.
"This is an opportunity to try something totally different in the great outdoors and to take part in friendly but gruelling competition."
Adventure racing is an ever-expanding part of Australian sports tourism and now encapsulates five per cent of all tourism undertaken nationally.
It has been identified by the CSIRO as one of six megatrends in the tourism sector and annually contributes $3 billion to the national economy.
The sector is known for attracting wealthier tourists who spend up big on travel, accommodation and hospitality.
Cr Morrison said the November event would "be an enormous boon for the local economy".
"It will showcase Ipswich as a desirable sporting and leisure destination to this group of adventure competitors," he said.
"With plans already under way for events in 2015 and 2016, adventure racing is set to become one of the most popular fixtures on the Ipswich sporting calendar.
"We are expecting, based on similar events, approximately 600 attendees at this inaugural series with a projected growth of 30% in subsequent years."
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