HORSHAM businesses have hailed the Horsham Fishing Competition a success after the event brought more than 2000 people to the city on Sunday.
Wimmera Outdoors manager Darryl Buckman said the competition quadrupled the store's customers and profit on Saturday and Sunday compared with a normal weekend.
"It is Wimmera Outdoors' second busiest weekend of the year and the only better time is the weekend before Christmas," he said.
"March is always a busy month for us with the Wimmera Machinery Field Days but the fishing competition is the biggest event.
"It is obviously good for us because we are a fishing-related store but it is good for food and accommodation businesses too."
Horsham Caravan Park was booked out at the weekend, while 90 per cent of Wimmera Lakes Caravan Resort's camping sites and 70 per cent of cabins were rented.
Resort owner Chris Johnson said the weekend would be one of the accommodation provider's best for the year.
"It is good to have an event that brings people into the town because that is what it is all about and everyone benefits," he said.
"The competition leads into the Victorian Street Stock Titles at the weekend, then there is the Horsham Country Music Festival and then it is Easter so it is a massive month of tourism."
Wimmera Development Association executive director Jo Bourke said the competition benefited the entire region.
"Recreational fishermen will come back and fish outside of the fishing competition, which is really positive for the whole region," she said.
"People spend money while they are here, they pay for fuel, they pay for a motel and for a meal.
"If people have a good experience when they are here for special events, they will come back at other times."
Mrs Bourke said a focus on customer service could help boost the Wimmera's reputation among visitors.
"Whether it is at the visitor information centre, the supermarket or the petrol station, whenever visitors are dealing with people they want good customer service," she said.
"We have some excellent businesses that train their staff very well but it is something we will need to focus on.