Australia has so many things to offer people throughout the world that all it needs is a way to get itself in the spotlight to generate tourist activity. One of the ways in which Australia has chosen to get its image out onto the world spotlight is through its prominence as a host of major international sporting events. Tourism is very big business for Australia. In fact according to Jackie Kelly, Federal Minister for Sport and Tourism; "Tourism is one of Australia's major industries and our most important service industry". According to the Australian Tourist Commission "The combined direct and indirect contribution to the Australian economy was $59 billion, or about 9% of Australian Gross Domestic Product." Australia is always looking for ways to showcase itself as a tourist destination both domestically and internationally. One very important vehicle which Australia chooses to utilize its luster as a tourist destination is through major sporting events that attract attention from all around the world, as well as Australia. This essay examines the ways in which Australia uses these events to showcase itself to the world as a world-class tourist destination and the impacts, both direct and indirect, that these events have on the tourism industry and the economy as a whole. .
First and foremost, what is actually being considered as a "major sporting event"? On the largest end of the spectrum, hosting the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of major sporting events. On a more broad sense, any one specific sporting event that attracts the attention of domestic and international media, business, and public interest is considered a "major sporting event".
Australia plays host to many annual events each year such as the Formula One Grand Prix, Spring Racing Carnival, and the Australian Open Tennis Championships. Australia has also established itself among the leaders in attracting some of the largest international sporting events such as the Olympic Games in 2000 and the Rugby World Cup in 2003.