One of Australia’s biggest swimming festivals is set to return to Busselton for a second year and inject millions of dollars into the local economy. The Ocean Swim Festival will take place at the iconic Busselton Jetty from 24-27 January next year, and will see hundreds of elite athletes and community swimmers compete in various events while spectators enjoy a range of activities on the shore. As part of the festival, some of the country’s best swimmers will also face off in the Australian Open Water Championships, providing athletes with qualifying opportunities for the respective masters, open, and junior international level events held later in 2024. The championships were held for the first time in WA in Busselton earlier this year, bringing more than 2000 visitors to WA’s South West , and injecting more than $2.1 million into the region. The different courses, including 500m, 1.25km, 2.5km, 5km, 7.5km and 10km options, will take place around the Busselton Jetty, allowing spectators to line the iconic structure to watch the races. Outside of the water, several other activities will be made available to competitors and spectators, including markets and kids’ activities. The event will be hosted by Swimming Australia and supported by Swimming WA. Tourism Minister Rita Saffioti said the Busselton infrastructure, in particular the airport, made it an ideal host for such a significant event. “We’re very excited to be supporting the Ocean Swim Festival once again as it returns to Western Australia for another year of exciting races and events in beautiful Busselton, “she said. “Busselton’s pristine beachfront with its sparkling blue water and iconic jetty provide the perfect place to stage this event, which will bring visitors from all over the nation, supporting local accommodation providers, hospitality businesses and jobs. “With flights from Melbourne flying into Busselton three times a week, on what is proving to be a popular route, it’s never been easier for visitors from Australia’s east coast to travel to WA’s South West.” Regional Development Minister and Bunbury MLA Don Punch said the regional events program helped drive economic growth in the South West. “Events like this allow us to showcase our beautiful State as a world-class sporting destination, while diversifying the economy and creating local jobs in the regions,” he said.