Com­pe­ti­tions lure tourists

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

The Nin­ga­loo Coast is pre­par­ing to host the big­gest fort­night of fish­ing in WA with two ma­jor com­pe­ti­tions head­ing to its shores in March.

The an­nual week-long GAMEX com­pe­ti­tion will be held from March 17-25.

Ex­mouth will also host the Aus­tralian In­ter­na­tional Bill­fish Com­pe­ti­tion for the first time since 2014, to be held on the week­end be­fore GAMEX.

Ex­mouth Game Fish­ing Club spokes­woman Jeni Gates said the com­pe­ti­tion would be re­jigged this year to fo­cus more on the an­glers, fish­ing and spon­sors.

“We are try­ing to give back to the an­glers by way of hav­ing a new an­gler in­cen­tive, where any new par­tic­i­pants can get their en­try free and any­one who has fished GAMEX who en­cour­ages a new en­trant gets 50 per cent off,” she said.

“This year, we are fo­cus­ing money spent on non-fish­ing ac­tiv­i­ties pre­vi­ously back to the fish­ing be­cause when you come to Ex­mouth what you want to do is fish­ing.

“With the new an­gler pro­gram, new an­glers will be bud­died up with ex­ist­ing an­glers who will wel­come them to town, show them around and give them some tips for the com­pe­ti­tion. “You don’t need to be an ex­pe­ri­enced an­gler — over 20 peo­ple ev­ery year for the past decade have tagged their first bill­fish.”

Mrs Gates said GAMEX at­tracted the new an­gler in­cen­tive would be avail­able for the first 50 new en­trants to the com­pe­ti­tion.

In 2016, sta­tis­tics show more than 300 par­tic­i­pants in­jected more than $1 mil­lion into the lo­cal econ­omy.

Ex­mouth Vis­i­tor Cen­tre spokesman Ben Knaggs said the back-to­back sched­ul­ing of the events would pro­vide vis­it­ing an­glers with ex­tra in­cen­tive to make the jour­ney.

“We ex­pect to see a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in vis­i­tors from right across the coun­try dur­ing March,” he said. “As West­ern Aus­tralia’s pre­mier fish­ing event, GAMEX helps to shine a spot­light on both Ex­mouth and the Nin­ga­loo re­gion as a fish­ing des­ti­na­tion, en­hanc­ing this rep­u­ta­tion and pro­mot­ing these in­cred­i­ble sport and game fish­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to a larger and larger num­ber of an­glers across the world ev­ery year.

“Those vis­i­tors who come to Ex­mouth to ex­pe­ri­ence the amaz­ing fish­ing Ex­mouth has to of­fer tend to be high-spend tourists.”

Any­one want­ing to regis­ter to com­pete or help out in the run­ning of the event can find in­for­ma­tion at egfc.com.au.

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