World Sailing Champs boost State coffers
Tourism Minister Dr Kim Hames said that on almost every measure the championships were judged a great success, and as well as the pleasing economic and media benefits they left a very positive social and sailing legacy.
“The State Government, though Eventscorp, invested $8.8 million to support the staging of Perth 2011 and that investment has paid handsome dividends for WA.” Dr Hames said.
“The 16 day event last December attracted more than 7800 people from interstate or overseas.
“When you take into account the test event in 2010, the emerging nations program and the numerous training camps held before Perth 2011, the total number of visitors to the state was more than 9,300, generating an economic benefit of $38.6 million.
“Crucially for our tourism and hospitality industries, the average length of stay was 21 days, which meant a total of almost 197,000 visitor nights.
“On top of that, more than 455 hours of television coverage of Perth 2011 was broadcast into 105 countries around the world.”
Analysis conducted by Repucom International into the media value of that coverage in key West Australian tourism markets alone put the figure at $14.6 million.
And a separate analysis of the print, radio and television coverage of the event in Australia and New Zealand by Sentia Media added another $2 million in media value.
There was also a significant amount of online coverage that hasn’t been measured.
“Perth 2011 provided tremendous exposure for Fremantle, Perth and WA, which will hopefully inspire more people to visit us in the future,” Dr Hames said.
“I acknowledge though that the World’s Village did not meet expectations in terms of public attendance, but that was just one aspect of the broader event and must be kept in context,” Dr Hames said.
“Some extreme weather during the championships didn’t help, with heatwave conditions on some days and torrential rain on others.”
The economic impact report conducted by Metrix Consulting also identified that Fremantle traders experienced varying results during the championships, with 26% reporting a positive impact on their business, 27% reporting a negative impact and 47% reporting no impact.
“It’s also clear that some local businesses believe the event didn’t meet their expectations in terms of increased trade,” Dr Hames said.
A City of Fremantle survey found that accommodation providers, cafes, restaurants and bars generally benefited during the championships, whilst some retail and commercial businesses reported decreases in trade during the event.
In the Metrix report a survey of Fremantle traders found that many believed the decrease in trade was largely driven by regular customers avoiding the area because of road closures associated with the event, and an anticipation that Fremantle would be more crowded than usual.
Dr Hames said Perth 2011 had left a significant legacy for sailing in WA with the training and involvement of hundreds of officials and volunteers, as well as $1 million worth of physical assets handed over to local clubs and organisations after the event, including 23 Rigid Inflatable Boats, six Laser class boats, six RSX Boards, and 250 waterproof handheld radios.
“Perth 2011 will benefit the sport of sailing in WA for many years to come,” he said.
Dr Hames also acknowledged the significant contribution of the Federal Government, which contributed $8.6 million towards the staging of Perth 2011.
“That contribution was crucial to the success of the event.”
“Finally, I want to thank John Longley, Ian Campbell, Peter Gilmour and their hard working Perth 2011 team for delivering an outstanding event that has showcased WA and the sport of sailing to a global audience.
“To run world championships in 10 Olympic classes over 630 races so smoothly was an incredible feat.
“To echo the words of Goran Petersson, the President of ISAF, Perth 2011 has set the standard for all future international sailing events.”