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2018 AFL season at Optus Stadium delivers $66 million tourism boost

2018 AFL season at Optus Stadium delivers $66 million tourism boost
November 3, 2018

Interim results released for the 2018 AFL season at Perth’s Optus Stadium show that marketing strategies for the new venue have injected millions of dollars into the Western Australian economy.

Despite a decline in international visitor numbers and expenditure to Western Australia in 2017/18, about 66,000 interstate and intrastate visitors attended games regular AFL season and finals at the 60,000 capacity venue, delivering nearly $66 million in visitor expenditure.

Independent research has revealed the Western Australian Government's dedicated east coast tourism campaigns, combined with the AFL tourism strategy, attracted 31,059 interstate visitors who specifically travelled to WA for a match at Optus Stadium, and spent about $34 million. A further 34,665 visitors from regional WA spent more than $32 million.

Figures from research undertaken by Metrix Consulting show that of the 31,059 interstate visitors, 22,887 travelled during the regular season and 8,172 during the AFL finals. There was a similar story with intrastate overnight visitors, as 25,812 people from regional WA travelled to Perth for AFL games during the home and away season, and 8,853 for the finals.

As part of the Optus Stadium launch, Tourism Western Australia invested significant marketing resources to drive interstate visitation to AFL games and increase awareness of Perth and Western Australia as an AFL tourism destination, while encouraging visitors to also travel to the regions.

The multimillion dollar Hotel Perth campaign launched early this year targeted at east coast markets such as Melbourne and Sydney. This campaign, coupled with the introduction of a Tourism WA east coast advocate has led to a direct increase in visitors.

Western Australian Tourism Minister Paul Papalia acknowledged the impact the marketing campaign has had on attracting visitors to the State and congratulated Tourism WA for leading the project in partnership with Optus Stadium Management, Tourism Council WA, the tourism industry, AFL, West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers.

Minister Papalia stated “the (Western Australian) Government's tourism strategies have leveraged off Perth's world-class Optus Stadium to ensure the local hospitality industry received a much needed boost.

"This resulted in interstate visitors staying a total of 137,803 nights, and intrastate visitors a total of 108,687 nights in Perth, thanks to AFL tourism.

"Their spending has provided a significant boost to WA's economy, with interstate visitors spending an average of $245 a day in WA and intrastate visitors an average of $295 a day.

"Maximising leisure visitation from AFL games at Optus Stadium and encouraging visitors to stay longer and spend more is a key component of the State Government's Two-Year Action Plan.

"The AFL campaign also complements other activity on the east coast including establishing trade marketing representation in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane; launching the Hotel Perth campaign and co-operative marketing with key partners, all of which have contributed to an increase in interstate visitors in 2017/18."

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