The most talked about event of the year was recently here and it has been absolutely everywhere!  YES, that's right - the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge came to visit.  I admit I have been glued to every movement they have made since flying into New Zealand a few weeks ago and ooh'ing and ahh'ing at the young Prince George.

 

Some of you may be sick of hearing about them and have no interest whatsoever, however we need to remember the significance of their visit which, in fact, has a lot of importance for a number of areas in our economy, namely tourism, various charities and Australian fashion.

 

Zimmerman, an Australian label, featured on Good Friday when the Royals visited the Royal Easter show and Manly beach.  The "Kate Effect" was in full swing with the dress sold out in a few hours to people all over the world, bringing world recognition to our local Aussie designers.

 

The royal visit to Taronga Zoo brought front and centre to the world the plight of the endangered bilby when Prince George opened the new bilby exhibit named in his honour.  Paul Davies, the Bilby Keeper at Taronga Zoo, notes that "a big part of wildlife conservation is about raising awareness, and today we have had the opportunity to showcase the bilby not only to Australia, but to the world."

 

At home, the Duchess is patron to many charities including a children's hospice. In both Australia and New Zealand, the Duchess made trips to local hospices where she had the chance to meet the children and their families.  At Manly's Bear Cottage, centre nursing unit manager, Narelle Martin said "part of Bear Cottage is about creating happy memories for children whose lives are shortened, and this is certainly going to create a very happy memory for those families".
 

Already a tourist site, Scenic World, in the Blue Mountains area, has recorded a 20% increase from this time last year.  A much needed boost to a fire-ravaged region!  

So, you may not be a royalist or buy into the hype but the trip 'down under' will result in exposure overseas of Australia as a fantastic tourist destination and bring awareness of some important issues facing our people and country.

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