The 2019 Great Barrier Reef Masters Games in Cairns, Australia delivered a $2 million boost to the city’s economy.

Almost 2,100 competitors, supporters and non-playing officials participated in this year’s Games, held from May 23-26, up from 1533 in 2017.

Participants came from every state in Australia as well as international competitors from Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Japan, U.S. and the UK.

A 37% growth in participant numbers was complemented with an increase in the average number of days attended by competitors, from 2.9 days in 2017 to 5 days in 2019.

There were 21 sports involved (up from 19 in 2017), with seven new sports: dragon boat paddling, football, powerlifting, rugby league, table tennis, target pistol shooting, and trail and road running.

A popular addition to this year’s event was the Games Gallop fun run, which broadened the reach of the Games to the local community and attracted over 170 participants.

There were also three social nights held at The Jack hotel, which were well attended.

Key insights from the Games include:

  • Total overnight visitor expenditure was $2.12 million ($842,000 in 2017);
  • Direct visitor nights in Cairns was 9,059 nights (4,759 in 2017);
  • Average day trip expenditure $324.74 ($274.85 in 2017);
  • Total number of individuals attracted by the Games 4,035 (2,049 in 2017).


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