Big event provides gift for region

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Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times

The Westrac Bunbury Geographe Gift is tipped to have a positive effect on the local economy, bringing a host of athletes and other visitors to the city.

The inaugural event has attracted a star-studded field of athletes from all over Australia.

Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said the Gift would bring both direct and indirect benefits to the city.

“There is, of course, the direct benefit of providers of transport and hospitality enjoying increased demand for their services,” he said.

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“But there is also indirect benefit from first-time visitors to Bunbury hopefully being impressed with their experience and informing their networks of a positive experience,” he said.

“A similar result should arise from media coverage of the event.

“That coverage should include the quality of recreational and other facilities we have in Bunbury that may attract more interest in Bunbury being a venue for other sporting activities.”

South West Development Commission research analyst Matthew Monisse said with about 180 competitors in the adult races, about two thirds of entrants were expected to be from outside the Bunbury-Geographe region.

“We expect visitors mostly from the Perth Metropolitan area, but with a significant portion from interstate,” he said. “With travel partners, and an expected stay of two to three nights, the South West Development Commission predicts an economic benefit of $84,000.”

Event organiser Jo O’Dea said she was pleased with the amount of support she had received.

“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from locals, being such an unusual event for WA,” she said.

“We’re very fortunate to have the fastest man and woman in Australia in Trae Williams and Riley Day coming to our town to compete.

“The advantage of having such high-profile athletes competing in the Gift means it can serve as a draw for other interstate competitors.”

Organisers will run surveys throughout the weekend to further gauge the economic impact of the Gift to help inform how the region may benefit from future events.

The Gift will be run over three days on from April 27-29.

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