Northam to host national hot air ballooning championships in 2017
Last held in Western Australia in 2015
Supported by the State Government's Royalties for Regions through Tourism WA
Western Australia has won the right to host the 2017 national hot air ballooning championships thanks to support from the Liberal National Government.
The Northam National Ballooning Championships will be held in Northam this September and will be the most significant event on the Australian ballooning calendar.
Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett said Northam hosted a highly successful championships in 2015, which attracted 20 national and international competitors as well as 11,000 spectators to the region.
"Northam is considered one of Australia's premier hot air ballooning destinations and hit the international headlines recently as the departure point for Russian pilot Fedor Konyukhov's record-breaking solo round-the-world balloon flight," Mr Barnett said.
"The Northam National Ballooning Championships will not only build on this reputation and media exposure but is expected to bring thousands of visitors into the region and generate more than $1.8 million in visitor spend."
The event is proudly supported by the State Government through Tourism WA's Regional Events Program, which is made possible by Royalties for Regions.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said events such as the Northam National Ballooning Championships strengthened local tourism-related businesses and contributed to the vibrancy of regional communities.
"Tourism has a strong influence on regional development and I am pleased to see Royalties for Regions invest in the Regional Events Program to bring significant social and economic benefits throughout regional WA," Mr Redman said.
The Premier said tourism generated $9.6 billion in 2015-16, including $4.5 billion in regional areas.
"The State Government has a strategy in place to increase this value to $12 billion across the State by 2020," Mr Barnett said.
"Events such as this contribute to this goal by attracting visitors to regional areas."
The Premier congratulated the Northam Aero Club on being selected to host the event and the Shire of Northam for its ongoing support.
Premier and Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5000
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700