By James Wilkinson
The return of Tiger Woods to Melbourne this November to defend his Australian Masters crown has received widespread applause from the tourism industry.
Tiger Woods returns to Melbourne in November
During his now infamous November 2009 visit, Accor’s Melbourne hotels recorded their best week of the year, with all 20 city hotels filled to capacity – and a similar outcome is expected later this year.
Accor’s Regional General Manager for Victoria and Tasmania, Scott Boyes, said he is confident demand for hotel room nights during Tiger Wood’s upcoming appearance will match the levels experienced by Accor hotels during 2009.
“Not only did he attract vast numbers of spectators, his appearance brought in a large number of high-yielding corporate groups, which gave the whole of Melbourne and Victoria a significant boost,” he said. “For the hotel sector, it was a fantastic end to what had been a very challenging year.
“While there may have been controversy about Tiger’s private life since he visited Melbourne, it doesn’t diminish his reputation as the world’s most dynamic and charismatic golfer.
“It will also have the benefit of boosting further Melbourne’s reputation for scheduling the country’s most attractive sports and cultural events.
“Following Tiger’s visit we are expecting some 15,000 English visitors for the Ashes cricket in December, so we are hopeful of a very strong end to the year for the state’s hotel and tourism industries,” Boyes said.
The Victorian Government covered half of Woods’ $3 million appearance fee at the Australian Masters, a move praised by both Boyes and peak industry body TTF (Tourism & Transport Forum).
“Last year’s appearance by Woods injected an estimated $34 million into the Victorian economy, which represents a spectacular return on investment,” said TTF Executive Director Brett Gale.
“There is no doubt that his return to defend his Masters title will again attract huge crowds, including visitors from interstate and overseas, and provide significant international exposure for Melbourne.
“This is another success story for the Victorian Government and Victorian Major Events Company, whose outstanding calendar of events draws tourists to Melbourne year-round,” he said.
Woods’ participation at the Australian Masters comes a year before some of the world’s best golfers descend on Melbourne for the 2011 President’s Cup, set down for November 14-21, 2011.