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Australian GP gets nil points in tourism poll

NEWS STORY
10/06/2008

The future of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne has taken a further knock following the publication of the results of an on-line poll aimed at finding the city's best tourist attraction.

In the "Victoria 101" campaign, run by the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria and Tourism Victoria, the Grand Prix failed to attract a single vote.

However, the 21,000 voters clearly rated the Whittlesea Country Music Festival and Geelong's National Wool Museum, while it is Great Ocean Road, Wilsons Promontory and The Blues Train at Queenscliff that come out tops.

"The Grand Prix draws thousands of people from all over the world to Melbourne," RACV tourism and travel general manager, Neil James, told The Age, "so it's intriguing to note that it hasn't even been nominated."

This is a further blow to the future of the event, which in recent years has seen ticket sales fall and the local government having to shell out ever increasing subsidies, courtesy of the taxpayer.

Add to this the fact that Bernie Ecclestone is threatening to take the race elsewhere unless the city agrees to a (late) night race, and the fact is that things continue to look bleak.

That said, Ecclestone's great friend, But Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker can take at least take heart in the modest results of several other tourist attractions in the poll, such as Melbourne Cricket Ground (84th place) and the Australian Tennis Open (100).

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