Orange City Council is pleased to announce the Under 12s Water Polo Festival is coming to Orange Aquatic Centre in March.
The carnival will add about $226,000 to the annual $5.8 million expected to flow into the Orange economy from sports tourism this financial year.
Orange City Council’s Sport and Recreation Committee Chair Jason Hamling said the festival, on March 23 and 24, would attract about 300 competitors plus siblings and parents.
“Sporting tourism generates huge numbers of visitors to our city,” Cr Hamling said.
“This financial year alone, at least 10,000 people travel to the city for Council supported sporting events.”
Figures calculated using the latest sport participation data from Tourism Research Australia shows $5.8 million dollars is expected to be injected into the Orange economy this year, through 15 Council supported sporting events.
Cr Hamling said it showed why Council gave a priority to actively pursuing these types of carnivals and festivals.
“These events might not necessarily be big name sport stars, musicians, actors or comedians but they certainly bring home the bacon when it comes to supporting our hospitality and accommodation sector.
“The $5.8 million figure doesn’t include the many other private sporting events such as those hosted by golf clubs, rugby clubs and racing organisations. Nor does it include the many cultural events on nearly every other weekend in the region.
“The great bonus with sporting tourism is competitors, particularly children, generally travel with a support team of two or three or four and they’ll stay in the city for up to three or four nights depending on the length of the carnival.
“In between games at sporting carnivals families will often eat out, go shopping, try the local produce and fill in time by visiting parks and gardens, going to the movies or on a wine tour.
“Some of these events attract up to 150 competitors, some attract 1,000 but it’s beneficial to spread these out throughout the year, rather than putting time and money into pursuing one bigger event.
“This way we can sustain the occupancy rates, sustain the cafes and restaurants and retail shops rather than having everything booked out in one hit and people then have to travel to neighbouring cities for accommodation.
“Orange does food and wine tourism incredibly well and sport tourism is often our unsung hero.
“The city gets a great return for a relatively smaller financial input.
“All the mums and dads, grandparents and coaches go home and act as great ambassadors for our region.
“They have a great experience in our city and often they’ll come back here for a weekend away and get to know the place a bit better.”
Upcoming sporting events in Orange include the NSW Over 50s State Cricket Championships on February 10, 11 and 12, bringing with it 400 people including friends and family of competitors; the 2019 Triathlon NSW Club Championships in March bringing about 1,000 people and the Newcrest Orange Challenge with about 1,500 people.