Tour Down Under - A Police Perspective


tags: South Australia Police, Traffic Management, Public Event,

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By Chief Superintendent Silvio Amoroso, South Australia Police

From the March 2012 issue of The Australian Police Journal

Research shows sports tourism is loosely defined as events where sport is the prime motivational reason for travel or, more generally, a combination of sports activities and travel. Sports tourism is a multi-billion dollar and significant part of the $4.5 trillion travel and global tourism industry, and contributes to more than 10 percent of the global domestic product.[1]

In Australia the sports tourism sector accounts for about 55 percent of the total tourism market, representing an annual expenditure of about $3 billion. Tourism more generally has become firmly established as a major Australian industry, providing significant economic and employment benefits in 8 percent directly or 11.5 percent indirectly of employment, 5.8 percent of Gross Domestic Product and nearly 15 percent of export earnings.[2]  Forecast growth, especially for inbound tourism, is very strong. The sports sector has a major economic impact, contributing billions of dollars to the economy, employing tens of thousands of Australians and occupying a central place within Australian culture and identity, based on a long history of achievement across a wide range of sports.

The Tour Down Under(TDU)[3]

The TDU is Australia’s premier cycling event, held annually in January in the South Australian capital city of Adelaide, and surrounding regional areas. Established in 1999, the TDU has become the biggest event staged in South Australia, drawing huge crowds. In 2011 the event attracted 772,000 attendances, an increase of 1500 from 2010.

In 2005, the TDU was internationally promoted as the largest and highest ranking cycling event outside Europe. In 2008 the TDU became the first UCI[4]ProTour event outside Europe, and the following year it became the inaugural event of the UCI World Ranking Calendar. The TDU has won the Australian Tourism Award in 2010, Australian Event Awards Best Tourism Event (October 2009) South Australian Tourism Awards - Major Festivals and Events category (November 2009) and the Australian Travel & Tourism Awards 2009 - Best Innovative Tourism Experience (February 2010). And, in March 2011, the TDU was named the country's best major festival and event for the second year in a row, at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.

The financial benefit to this state is significant; for example, the 2010 tour injected $41.5 million into the South Australian economy.

The Policing Approach – Time to innovate

The South Australia Police (SAPOL) has provided policing support and guidance to the TDU since its inception. This support and guidance has been in a planned and structured approach that has ensured a safe, successful and enjoyable event for both the professional riders and the public.

In 2010 it was timely to introduce strategic change specifically designed for enhanced community safety and the provision of policing services to the tour participants and onlookers, other emergency service agencies, and the wider South Australian community ...



[1]Tourism – Professional Sports Tourism: promoting destinations

[2]Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science and Resources, Towards A National Sports Tourism Strategy draft, 2000.


[4]The Union Cycliste Internationale.

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