Last year alone, the Margaret River Pro, the third stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), generated a $5.4-million economic boost for the region and has generated over $20 million since the event was granted top tier status in 2013.
An independent report commissioned by Tourism Western Australia showed that the event attracted over 6,200 visitors to the region, who stayed more than 28,000 nights.
Over 223 hours of broadcast vision was beamed onto millions of televisions around the world, in fact, 640,000 were confirmed viewers in just the USA and Australia alone. Online, it's viewed by millions of adoring surf fans in all corners of the globe who tune into the free live stream that is interspersed with postcard vision of stunning Margaret River scenery including wineries, forests, caves, coastline and more, promoting it as a fantastic holiday destination.
The benefits aren't limited to impressive statistics. Here's what some local organisations and businesses had to say about the Margaret River Pro.
Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association CEO Claire Savage:
"The Margaret River Pro provides unparalleled exposure for the region. Surfing is synonymous with an active outdoors lifestyle - the Pro showcases the region, its clean, beautiful ocean and coastline as well as all the surrounding natural attractions to an engaged global audience of millions. Accommodation in the region is at (or near) capacity and the restaurants are buzzing as thousands of visitors flock to the region for the Pro, while millions more watch online. It has a positive impact on local tourism businesses and a huge impact on the region as a whole."
Rok Kombucha Margaret River Founder Amanda Carroll:
"Rok Kombucha is a product designed for those who love a great tasting fermented drink who also value their gut health - we call it bubbles with benefits! The professional surf athletes who compete in the Pro are understandably very health conscious and we're proud to align our business with the sport's top tier competition. Rok is made with premium local and international ingredients - it's pure, raw, and full of probiotic goodness and made to exacting standards, much like professional surfers who have to perform to exacting standards to succeed. We love Margaret River and love that it hosts a world class event that brings the world's best surfers to our shores."
Stella Bella Chief Winemaker Luke Jolliffe:
"The Margaret River Pro is an iconic world class event that brings the world's best surfers and showcases the Margaret River region to the world. The Pro really celebrates what the Margaret River lifestyle is all about - amazing surf, food, wine and arts. We're very proud to support this event and look forward to sharing our wines and the good times this year."
Settlers Tavern Managing Director Rob Gough:
"Settlers Tavern is iconic to hospitality and entertainment in Margaret River just as the Margaret River Pro is to world-class surfing. The Tav was built as a haven during the emerging surf culture in the 1970s. The Pro is an important event for Margaret River - it continues to put the region in the mind of surfers around the world - they see the epic waves and stunning scenery, and when they can, they visit and surf those waves themselves. We believe it's important to give back to the community and sponsoring the Margaret River Pro like we've done for the past 20 years is one way we do that."
Floating Europhia owner Simon Tien:
"The Margaret River Pro firmly puts the region on the global surfing map. To attract the world's best to surf our waves and have that broadcast and streamed live to millions around the world is priceless. This is our second year sponsoring the Pro and we're thrilled to support it again. Last year we had several professional surf athletes enjoy the benefits of a float all thanks to the Pro - including John John Florence and the legend himself Kelly Slater. I can't think of a better event that showcases our beautiful coastline and natural surrounds to those who appreciate it the most, surfers. It's wonderful for the region, for local businesses like ours and for surf fans across the planet."
Aravina Estate General Manager and owner Hayley Munro-Tobin:
"Surfing attracts visitors to our region and the Margaret River Pro promotes the region as a premier surf destination. Aravina has supported the Margaret River Pro for five years because we believe it's important for the region to host events of this calibre - it benefits everyone because it brings visitors and showcases our beautiful region to millions of people around the world. In recent months, we extended our partnership with Surfing WA to develop and host WA's first Surf Gallery. We look forward to welcoming surfers, surf fans and visitors to come and see it for themselves and we look forward to continuing to support the Margaret River Pro in future years to come."
Australia's South West CEO Catrin Allsop:
"The Margaret River Pro showcases our stunning region like no other event can via live streaming to an audience of millions around the world, in particular to surfers and surf fans, many of whom are also lovers of the natural environment. We're proud to support the Margaret River Pro because it generates many different benefits for the region - from promoting its assets to attracting thousands of visitors - which in turn creates an economic boost for our members and other local businesses."
This year is the 33rd edition of the Margaret River Pro and will be held at Surfers Point with competition taking place on waves at Main Break, The Box and North Point.
The world's best surfers including John John Florence, Gabriel Medina, Joel Parkinson, Stephanie Gilmore and local surfing inspiration Bronte Macaulay will compete for World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) points over 12 days.
The State Government is a proud supporter of the event through Tourism WA's Regional Events Program.
Margaret River Pro
11 to 22 April 2018
Surfers Point, Prevelly, Margaret River
World's top 34 male (plus two wild cards) surf athletes and 17 female (plus one wild card) surf athletes will compete
WA Trials held on 10 April 2018 is only open to West Australian surfers; the winner earns a place to compete in the Margaret River Pro as a wild card entry