Surfing Western Australia
Major surf events bring tourism, cash, positive messages to region
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 16 November, 2015 - Trigg Beach, Western Australia - The 2015 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro has claimed gold for the second consecutive year in the Major Festivals and Events category at the Perth Airport Tourism Awards.
The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro forms part of the World Surf League (WSL) World Championship Tour (WCT). It is one of only 11 events in the world, where male and female athletes earn valuable points towards a World Championship Title.
The event celebrated its 30th anniversary in April with unprecedented global media attention generated by the use of multiple wave locations, huge surf and attendance by the best surfers in the world.
In addition to the surf, the event has a strong social impact via health messaging, a result of complementary partnerships with aligned goals for WA. Surfing is recognised as a healthy sport with fantastic role models that include Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore and local WA hero, Taj Burrow.
The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro also incorporates the broader tourism appeal of the South West region through the promotion of local business, food, wine and visitor experiences.
“Surfing WA is very much aware of the Tourism WA Strategy, so we are uniquely placed to assist in generating outstanding outcomes for tourism in the State,” said Surfing Western Australia CEO Mark Lane.
“Initiatives such as our ‘Margies Moments’ clips that we produce using a local production company feature high profile surfers enjoying experiences in Margaret River, and those clips are included in the WSL broadcast feed which really promote the region in a way that the audience engages with. It’s not an ad, but a third party endorsement with their surfing idols saying how magnificent Margaret River is."
“The event content now created by the WSL is something that we are very proud of and we are excited by the consistent growth of spectators both on site and online during the event period. This year saw 18.8 million fans visit the event page website, a 40% increase on last year. We also experienced a 26% growth in on site spectator attendance and 40% growth in our online audience.”
Aside from the value in promoting the sport of surfing and the South West region, the event generated considerable benefits to the community and experienced a growth in economic and media impact.
Despite the impressive numbers at state and international level, the event is able to maintain a strong connection at grassroots level. Each year Surfing WA partners with a growing number of local suppliers and service providers, increasing the delivery of benefits to the local and state economy.
The 2015 Drug Aware Margret River Pro will go on to represent WA at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in February next year.