Australia’s biggest bowls competition
The Australian Open will inject more than $45 million into the Gold Coast economy over the next five years The southern hemisphere’s biggest lawn bowls event is coming to the Gold Coast and the local tourism industry is set to be bowled over with benefits, Liz Burke reports for the Gold Coast Bulletin.
The city has secured hosting rights to the Australian Open for the next five years, marking the first time the sport’s premiere event will be held outside of Victoria for the first time in its ten-year history.
The tournament, which will expand from a five-day competition to a thirteen-day festival when it is introduced to the Coast in 2015, should provide a $45 million injection over the next five years attracting more than 4000 competitors.
It will be help at a series of bowling greens around the city, but the Broadbeach Bowls Club is believed to be the prominent location.
Announcing the news today, Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said securing the tournament was a real coup for Queensland and the Commonwealth Games hosting city.
“Lawn bowls is a core sport of the Commonwealth Games. Securing this event ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games further demonstrates our ability to host high-calibre sporting events,” she said.
“The Queensland Government’s 20 year plan for tourism, Destination Success, recognises the importance of securing exclusive events which will generate repeat visitation to our world-class destinations and the Australian Open lawn bowls tournament will do just that.”
Bowls Australia CEO Neil Dalrymple said the tournament’s shift to the Coast was a key initiative for the sport’s growth in Australia.
“We’re excited to bring this event to the Gold Coast with the 2015 event marking the first year of many initiatives which will see the event, and the sport as a whole, continue to grow over the coming years.”
Caption: Australian Open ambassadors Brett Wilkie and Wendy Wilson on the shores of Broadbeach.