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Rugby a big media winner

THE Western Australian Tourism Council anticipates the international media value of the Rugby World Cup will exceed its $2.2 million prediction.

West Australian Tourism Commission director media and communication Sheryl Fewster said that the value of the media exposure was being measured but the original estimate, as part of the proposal to win EventsCorp backing, was for $2.2 million.

“Everything [estimated] seems to have been exceeded in this World Cup,” Ms Fewster said.

“I think even the ARU was surprised by the way it took off and Australians, even in non-rugby States, embraced it.”

WA Tourism Council president Ron Buckey said media coverage of the Rugby World Cup provided a good platform for the Federal Government’s latest international marketing push.

“Of the Government’s $235 million package to be spent over four and a half years, $121 million is to be spent on international marketing. This is perfect timing because it can flow through from the recent attention on Australia,” he said.

“For Perth it was hugely successful. We anticipated 4,000 visitors and we had 17,000 and we can see spin off effects coming from that.”

About 280 accredited media visited Perth during the five rugby matches mainly from the UK, South Africa and Australia.

Ms Fewster said EventsCorp negotiated for two large signs with the word Perth to be featured on each side of the field at Subiaco Oval.

TV networks were also supplied “postcards” of footage to use at their leisure and were just a snippet of Perth-based footage beamed across the world.

Ms Fewster said images featuring Perth city and its surrounds featured in the mass media, mainly in the sports pages of leading papers in South Africa and the UK.

Pictures of the capping presentation ceremony was used as a large back page picture in England’s Daily Telegraph.

UK television viewers got a taste of Perth’s pristine beaches thanks to an official WA World Cup welcome party for the English Rugby team held at North Cottesloe Beach.

Scarborough beach also featured in international press coverage, particularly in Samoa due to the Samoan Rugby Team’s short stay in the suburb.

The Perth Zoo featured because the Uraguayans visited it.

The Georgians swam with the sharks at AQWA.

WATC figures show that $36 million was spent in direct personal expenditure by those who visited the State during the five-match Rugby World Cup period.

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