The focus will shift to the golf at the Geoff King Motors Australian Ladies Classic today, but while it won’t be front of mind for the players or excited fans, the tournament is about much more than just crowning a winner.
The Bonville Golf Resort, which plays host to the event for the third time this week, is one of many tourist attractions on the popular Coffs Coast but they’re keen to share the love at tournament time.
With players from as far afield as India and Germany, the Australian Ladies Classic has the potential to expose the area to markets across the globe, and it is an opportunity the resort is keen to make the most of.
“A rising tide lifts all boats, and while the tournament is undoubtedly good for us here at Bonville it is also important to us that it makes a contribution to the entire region,” says Christopher Winn, Group Marketing Manager for Bonville Golf and Pacific Bay Resort.
Among the beneficiaries this year is local tour company Waves to Wilderness.
Business co-owner Joe Rattray says having the tournament in town and the chance to showcase their product to an international audience is an opportunity that comes along infrequently.
“We’re just a small business, and there’s no way we could afford the sort of exposure we’ve had this week,” he said of an activation which saw several players take part in one of the company’s rainforest tours earlier this week.
“The tournament itself is about the golf obviously, but having all these visitors in the area and being able to show off what we do shows it’s not just about the golf.
“There’s so much to see and do on the Coffs Coast, and this tournament is a great avenue to promote all those other activities as well.”
Now in its third year, Joe and partner Chelsea Wright are just the latest beneficiaries of having the Ladies European Tour in town.
2018 featured players visiting Sealy Lookout, indulging in local seafood thanks to the fisherman’s Co-op and the Cheesemaking workshop, swimming with dolphins at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park and Stand-up paddleboarding with Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours.
2019 featured players swinging through the forest at Treetops Adventure Park and kangaroo watching at Look at Me Now Headland.
The LET, ALPG and LPGA’s media teams capture all the action and share those pictures around the world while many of the players themselves share snippets on social media to their thousands of followers around the globe.
“Those images are invaluable. The footage forms part of the broadcast each year and the stories that our local operators are helping to bring to life reach far and wide,” says Winn.
“In 2019, a total of 964 articles and media clips generated an estimated $7.8M in associated media value.
“That sort of exposure is positioning The Coffs Coast as a must-visit destination for domestic and international travellers.”
“The benefits of an event like this go well beyond the immediate results of the weekend’s tournament,” said Winn.
“The trickle-down effect of holding an International professional tournament of this magnitude creates local jobs, work for a bevy of local suppliers and an overall boost to the local and regional economy year-round, with increasing demand from across the nation and the globe.”