Regional events like the popular Kulin Bush Races have received a funding boost, totalling $1,082,500 to help deliver events that inspire locals and encourage tourism.
A total of 68 events shared in the Regional Events Scheme (RES) funding pool for 2019-20, which is supported by the State government through Tourism Western Australia and Royalties for Regions.
The RES is administered by Tourism WA and aims to encourage regional communities to develop events that have economic and social benefits.
Seven of the events were supported through the Regional Aboriginal Events Scheme (RAES), which was introduced for the first time last year, to showcase Aboriginal activities and experiences, and encourage Aboriginal leadership and participation.
Demand was high for 2019-20 RES support, with Tourism WA receiving 120 applications for funding.
Applications for RES support are reviewed and assessed against criteria including the potential of the event to increase visitor numbers and spend, attract media coverage, create jobs and involve and inspire the local community.
Successful 2019-20 RES applicants were awarded funding ranging from $5000 to $40,000.
Events that received RES support for the first time were:
Regional North West State Championships, Exmouth (Athletics);
Balayi Open Your Eyes! Festival; Geraldton and Abrolhos Islands;
Back to Pinjarra Commemoration, Pinjarra;
47th Annual National Tasar Championships, Mandurah (Sailing);
2019 Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association OC1/OC2 V1 National Titles, Mandurah;
Margaret River Ultra Marathon, Margaret River;
Busselton Jetty Squid Festival, Busselton;
The 2019 WA State Road Cycling Championships, Bunbury; and
Kulin Bush Races, Kulin.
The 2020-21 RES round will open in October 2019 and close in December 2019 for events that fall between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
"This scheme is a fantastic initiative to stimulate tourism in our State's regions. These events create a point of difference and a reason for people to get out of the city and discover some of the amazing landscapes and unique experiences in regional WA," said Tourism Minister Paul Papalia.
"It's also great to see the Regional Aboriginal Events Scheme fostering the growth of some great Aboriginal tourism businesses, as this is an area of unmet demand for visitors to the State.
"The Regional Events Scheme has helped create a year-round calendar of events with broad appeal for those within the State or visiting WA from elsewhere."