Northern Territory Minister for Arafura Games Natasha Fyles
Arafura Games Delivers Economic Windfall And Strong Sporting Competition
Victor P Taffa
Benefits of the revitalised Arafura Games are starting to be realised with only 2 weeks until the international multi-sport event begins.
“Territory Government is bringing back the much-loved Arafura Games and all the benefits an international multi-sports and business engagement program bring.” Minister for Arafura Games Natasha Fyles said.
“Games will build the sporting profile of our athletes, be a significant tourism attraction, provide local businesses with a cash injection and will strengthen trade relationships that will create jobs.
With more than 1,500 athletes from 40 countries set to descend on Darwin, the advantages are already paying off for city businesses.
April is traditionally a quieter month for tourism operators as it sits in the shoulder season.
It’s a month that also experiences significant outbound travel as a result of the school holidays and several public holidays.
Accommodation providers are reporting healthy bookings including the Hilton Darwin which is experiencing significant sales compared to previous years.
“Hilton Darwin is seeing a significant upswing in business for April compared to previous years.” Hilton Darwin General Manager Markus Kaliss said.
“Arafura Games is helping to bring in international and interstate visitors and comes at a time when it’s most needed during the shoulder season.”
One Darwin accommodation provider has benefitted from a booking of almost $50,000 from a single team. Restaurants, tour companies and retailers are also expected to enjoy a financial windfall from the Games.
It’s not only businesses that are reaping the advantages of the Games but sports too.
5-day squash competition was a late inclusion in the sporting schedule but has proven very popular.
Squash organisers had an inflatable court in the Smith Street Mall today to showcase their sport which will host the biggest doubles squash tournament in Australia outside the recent Commonwealth Games. 15 men’s teams, 11 mixed and 6 women’s teams are set to take to the court during the Games.
“We’re very excited to be hosting players from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Malta and New Caledonia.” Squash Coordinator Carol Kawaljenko said.
“Level of competition that local players will be exposed to will strengthen squash in the Northern Territory and help develop our sport further.”
Doubles players can use the Games competition to build up points for the Australian Squash Tour while singles competitors can earn points that count towards world rankings.
Sports taking part in the Arafura Games include:
- Basketball 3X3 Pro Hustle,
- Beach Volleyball,
- Indoor Volleyball,
- Sepak Takraw,
- Table Tennis,
Arafura Games will be held from 26 April-4 May 2019.