Sporting millions: Geraldton’s WA Day long weekend tourism windfall

Headshot of Peter Sweeney
Peter SweeneyGeraldton Guardian
File image: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Camera IconFile image: Getty Images/iStockphoto Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Geraldton and the Mid West are planning on becoming a major sports and tourism centre after more than $2 million was pumped into the city in the first few days of June.

A report released last Tuesday reveals more than 6000 visitors came to the Mid West to watch nearly 2000 participants in 12 sports in the opening days of winter.

Economic impact data from the Mid West Sports Federation shows visitors spent $2.2 million — which included $1.4 million on tourism-related industries in the Mid West — over the WA Day June long weekend.

Tourism related includes accommodation, food and beverage.

The 12 events were the Geraldton Golf Club Amateur Open, the Geraldton Softball Association June carnival, the Woorree Park BMX Club super series, the Kalbarri Adventurethon, the Mullewa Master and Rodeo, the La Fiamma-Canning City Football West match, the Buccaneers-Giants SBL clash, the Geraldton Longboard Winter Classic, the Geraldton Amateur Swimming Club’s shortcourse classic, the Australian Bowhunters Association State titles and the ladies and men’s June carnival at the Wonthella and Geraldton bowling clubs.

More than 450 staff, volunteers and officials co-ordinated the events.

On average, each visitor spent $275.

The information — the third set of economic impact data collected from activities over the June long weekend — forms part of the Mid West Sports Federation’s Mid West Sports Tourism Project.

Federation chairman Mike Bowley said the region’s sport sector was being reinforced as a strong contender for future events and investment.

“The Mid West is leading the way in recognising the value of sports tourism on a regional economy,” he said.

“The outcomes of the Mid West Sports Tourism Project will enable us to advocate with confidence for recognition, investment and support of the sport and recreation industry.

“There is much to be excited about at these statistics.

“More than 6000 visitors to the region attending (for the most part) annual sporting events is a predictable tourism market which should be recognised and supported by tourism-related industries in the Mid West.”

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