Arafura Games: Delivers Economic Windfall and Strong Sporting Competition

The benefits of the revitalised Arafura Games are starting to be realised with only two weeks until the international multi-sport event begins.

With more than 1500 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.

But accommodation providers are reporting healthy bookings including the Hilton Darwin which is experiencing significant sales compared to previous years.

The HiltOn Darwin General Manager Mr Markus Kaliss said “Hilton Darwin is seeing a significant upswing in business for April compared to previous years.

“The 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.

“The destination seems more buoyant. The Arafura Games is certainly boosting the tourism sector and the local economy.”

One Darwin accommodation provider has benefited 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.

The 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. Fifteen men’s teams, eleven mixed and 6 women’s teams are set to take to the court during the Games.

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 Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Basketball 3X3 Pro Hustle, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Football, Indoor Volleyball, Muaythai, Netball, Sailing, Sepak Takraw, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis and Weightlifting.

The Arafura Games will be held from 26 April to 4 May.