News & ToursJanuary 5, 2010

Tiger investment pays off Down Under

When government officials agreed to contribute public funds to lure Tiger Woods to Melbourne for the Australian Masters, it wasn't a universally popular decision. Woods received a $3 million appearance fee, about half paid by the government, which projected Woods would provide an economic boost to the region to the tune of $19 million.

It proved a fruitful investment, returning a dividend of $31 million (U.S.) to the state of Victoria, the Age is reporting.

"This was truly a great event for Melbourne and Victoria that delivered a massive boost to our tourism industry, attracted thousands of visitors to our state and beamed Melbourne to a global audience," Rob Hulls, Victoria's acting premier, tells the newspaper.

More to the point, Woods, who won the tournament, will likely be invited back, notwithstanding the controversy that has resulted in his taking a hiatus from the game.

''Tiger is welcome to come and play golf any time in Victoria,'' Tourism Minister Tim Holding told the Age in this story.

-- John Strege

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