One in five Australians (19 per cent) will be soaking up the summer sun in the grandstands of a major sporting event over the holiday break according to a national poll commissioned by the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).
Victorians are the most enthusiastic to experience summer sport first hand with 27 per cent planning to cheer from the sidelines reflecting that State’s obsession with securing major sporting events in an envied events calendar. Conversely, Queenslanders (13 per cent) are the least likely to go to a sporting event over the summer holidays.
According to the more than 800 Australians surveyed by pollster Nielsen, the Australian Open (Tennis) in Melbourne wins game, set and match with 37 per cent of people rating it the must watch summer spectacle.
The great Australian pastime of cricket is not far behind with 30 per cent keen to watch the summer test matches and 28 per cent eager for the one day deciders.
“The sounds of a summer holiday in Australia are punctuated by shoe squeaks on a tennis court or the crack of a cricket bat as the most popular sports to watch from the grandstands or from the comfort of the couch at home,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“Over the summer break, thousands of Australians will pack up the family and head to the iconic sporting stadia, arenas and ovals to experience the excitement of professional sports and that is great news for the visitor economy especially for those major events like the Australian Open that attract interstate and even international visitors.
“The Australian Open is estimated to inject more than $278 million in the State’s economy and 50 per cent of the 720,000 attendees are from outside Melbourne – that’s a win-win for everyone from sporting fans to airlines, accommodation and hospitality.”
19 per cent of those surveyed are looking forward to watching the flotilla of boats sail out through the Heads on Boxing Day signalling the start of the classic Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Petrol heads are getting revved up for the smell of fuel and the roar of engines with 17 per cent doing laps for the V8 Supercars or the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
“No matter what sport you love, there is something for everyone over the summer and nothing beats the experience of being there in person.”