Tweed set for league influx

MORE than $1.2 million is expected to be injected into the Tweed economy when more than 35,000 people come to the area this weekend for the NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout competition.

Motels will be among businesses to directly benefit, with most in Tweed Heads South, Tweed Heads, Kings- cliff and Murwillumbah already booked out, according to event organiser Selwyn Apanui.

"We still have a couple of teams that have not got accommodation, and I have recommended " the coach of the Tweed team, Wollumbin Warriors said.

The Warriors are hosting the event, to be held in the grounds of the Cudgen Leagues Club from Saturday to Monday, after winning the "holy grail of indigenous sport" at the knockout competition held in Lismore last year.

"The knockout generated more than $4 million for the Dubbo economy when it was held there, and $1.2 million for Lismore, so it is a big deal," Mr Apanui said.

"The event is also being covered by the National Indigenous Television Network on Austar, so it is a chance to show the Tweed to the rest of the country."

With the knockout being held on the October long weekend, a traditional busy period for accommodation providers, the unlucky players and supporters who have not yet got reservation will now struggle to find a bed, said South Tweed Motor Inn owner Charles Richardson.

"We have been booked out for the competition since October last year just after the last competition," he said.

"All the motels in the area are booked out, and the caravan parks are full. We will have people staying here from Friday to Monday, but other motels have got longer bookings.

"It is a really exciting event for the area and the tourism industry; it seems everyone will benefit."

Tweed Tourism boss Phil Villiers said the event is an excellent opportunity to highlight what the area has to offer to a new market.

"When you add up all of the teams and their supporters, the event will bring between 30,000 to 35,000 people to the Tweed," Mr Villiers said.

"You can't pay for that kind of%exposure."



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