It’s not just the players who will win at this week’s Pacific Bay Resort Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville.
The tournament – being staged at the highly regarded Bonville Resort February 21-24 – will draw 144 world class golfers to the area but, more important than the holed puts and long drives, it plays a crucial role in promoting the Coffs Coast as one of Australia’s premiere tourist destinations.
Now in its second of a minimum five years, the event sees the final two rounds broadcast to an international television audience via FOX Sports and outgoing local Member Andrew Fraser says that is ‘money can’t buy’ exposure.
“This event – and the associated postcard pieces included in the broadcast – goes into homes right around the world,” he says.
“It puts this area on the map in terms of international tourism, particularly in places like China and Japan where Australia already attracts significant numbers of visitors.
“To try to tap into those markets through traditional advertising streams would be difficult and cost prohibitive but to do it through an event like this makes sense on multiple levels.”
Fraser was instrumental in bringing the tournament to Coffs Harbour and says he will continue to champion its presence after retiring in March.
“As a golfer the opportunity to see Bonville on our screens is fantastic but the economic benefits to the area more broadly are incredibly important.”
“Women’s golf is a growth area. More and more people are tuning in to watch these remarkable professionals because the standard of play is so high and the product is so good.
“I’m confident this year’s event will be better than last year’s and I’m looking forward to watching it grow in coming years, as well.”
Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight concurs with the local state member and says the event has the council’s full support for all the same reasons.
‘Money can’t buy’ is a phrase that continually pops up in reference to the tournament as an advertising vehicle and Knight, too, sees its intangible value.
“The TV broadcast is obviously important as are the visitors, both local and from outside, who come to attend the week,” she says.
“But much of the publicity is the sort of thing you really can’t purchase. The social media posts from the players themselves are just one excellent example of that.
“They come from all over the world and they play all over the world so have followers all around the world…there is no advertising package in existence that can deliver all that.”
Knight says the Bonville Resort is the ideal venue for the tournament as it encapsulates everything that makes the region popular.
“I think all of us in the region are very proud to have the Bonville Resort in our backyard because it is so widely known and so highly regarded,” she says.
“And it’s more than just the golf that is great about the resort. The whole place is an experience with a fabulous restaurant and the ability to sit out on the terrace and watch the golf.
“As a package the tournament and the venue really tick a lot of boxes.”
Pacific Bay Resort recently came on board as naming rights sponsor of the event with General Manager Brad Daymond citing the tournament’s international exposure as an opportunity too good to miss.
“Pacific Bay Resort is thrilled to have secured the naming rights for this flagship International sporting event,” he said earlier this month.
“The Pacific Bay Resort naming rights sponsorship will ensure that the eyes of the world are fixed squarely on the Coffs Coast for two days of live television via Fox Sports throughout Australia and 70 other Countries world-wide.
“We will not only be showcasing our premium resort offerings but also supporting the growth and development of the entire Coffs Coast region.”
Several high profile Australian and international golfers will tee up in the event including Dame Laura Davies, LPGA player Hannah Green and European stars Anne Van Dam and Solheim Cup player Caroline Hedwall.