MARGY Osmond, CEO, Tourism & Transport Forum Australia
Last month we saw NSW take home the Holden State of Origin Trophy in front of a packed stadium of more than 82,000 people and it was amazing.
The entire night from start to finish was edge of your seat entertainment and the final decider and the whole Origin series has been a win-win for the visitor economy.
NSW saw an estimated 24,000 visitors from interstate and regional NSW flock to Sydney for the series decider, generating approximately $17 million in tourism-related expenditure.
Major sporting events like Origin naturally increase the pulse-rates of fans but what we also know is that these occasions have a wider economic impact that goes well beyond the final siren.
Events are important motivators of tourism expenditure, and they greatly influence the development of a destination.
Among the most obvious ways a city benefits from hosting a premier sporting event is a surge in hotel reservations. Naturally, the many fans, onlookers, journalists, and friends and family of the athletes need places to stay for the duration of the event.
From pub and restaurant staff, to aviation, hotel workers and event staff, there are so many groups that play a major role in the delivery of these events.
A recent TTF survey in collaboration with Nielsen Data shows that when it comes to attending major events, sporting events come in as the number one choice.
40% of those surveyed have traveled interstate for a major sporting event.
Those interviewed also recognised the importance of major events with 54% believing that the most important outcome from events is that “it brings jobs and money to my state”.
While 50% of those surveyed also called for both the state and federal governments to invest more to attract and hosting more major events.
The more events, the more work, the better the economy and when talking about this it is important to recognise the impact on the everyday Aussies as well.
State of Origin II hosted in Perth was also recently declared an economic success with more than 12,000 interstate fans jetting into Optus Stadium which generated a $15 million windfall.
Events continue to be an important motivator of tourism, and they greatly influence the development of a destination and what they deliver are part of Australia’s economic fabric.
From what I saw on this year and many times before, it is incredibly important that as an industry we continue to make sure that the government considers what major events deliver to the economy from all levels, especially when it comes to investment and long-term sustainability.