The 2011 Ricoh Women’s British Open delivered an economic impact of over £4.7m toScotland, according to figures announced earlier this week. The overall figure for the Championship, which took place at Carnoustie in July 2011, includes a direct impact of £3.97m to the Angus economy.
Taiwan’s Yani Tseng successfully defended her title at Carnoustie, in what is currently the only women’s championship to be classed as a major outside ofNorth America, by both the Ladies’ European Tour and the LPGA. The event previously took place at St Andrews in 2007, and will return to theFifecourse in 2013.
The study found that 30.5% of spectators came from outside ofScotlandwith 3.5% coming from overseas. Visitors from Angus accounted for 27.8% with the remaining 41.7% visiting from elsewhere inScotland. Spectators were clearly impressed with the event, as 71% of those interviewed said they intend to buy tickets for the 2013 Championship.
The Championship also generated substantial exposure for Carnoustie andScotlandthrough worldwide TV coverage and media interest. The event was broadcast globally for 1,485 hours, including 729 hours of live coverage by 57 individual broadcasters.
The research was commissioned by EventScotland, event organisers the Ladies’ Golf Union and IMG, Angus Council and Scottish Enterprise; and was conducted by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. The Carnoustie championship was the first in a ten-year deal brokered by EventScotland to have the event inScotland, with the report highlighting the economic success for both Angus andScotland.
Sport Minister Shona Robison said: “These findings are a very clear demonstration of the positive impact hosting such a major sporting event can have onScotland. We know golf tourism contributes £220 million every year to the Scottish economy and supports over 4,000 jobs. With an unrivalled golfing heritageScotlandis perfectly placed to host similar events in the future, and we are particularly excited about the economic opportunities presented by major future events such as the 2014 Ryder Cup.”
Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Ross Hallett, Vice President at IMG, said: “The results from the Economic Impact Study show not only the real value and return on investment that professional golf tournaments can bring to a host country or region, but also the strength of the Ricoh Women’s British Open, which is now recognised as one of the world’s leading golf championships. As well as generating a significant direct financial return forScotland, the Ricoh Women’s British Open also generated over £7 million in positive global television exposure for the country, reinforcing EventScotland’s strategy of hosting major golf championships inScotland.”
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotlandis the home of golf and we pride ourselves on the calibre of tournaments hosted in the country year on year. The 2011 Ricoh Women’s British Open was a fantastic tournament, supported as part of our ongoing commitment to women’s golf in the lead up to the 2014 Ryder Cup.Scotlandis the perfect stage for events, and we can see from the economic impact report for the 2011 tournament that a significant financial return was delivered for Angus andScotlandas a whole.”
Shona Malcolm, the LGU’s CEO said: “We are delighted with the results and look forward to working with EventScotland when the Championship returns toScotlandin 2013 to be played at The Old Course,St Andrews. The Ricoh Women’s British Open has gone from strength to strength in recent years and there is no doubt that the quality of the Scottish venues, both last year and next, has contributed to that success.”
Eddie Brogan, Tourism Director, Scottish Enterprise said: “The 2011 Ricoh WBO secured impressive economic benefits and we will continue to work with the sector to maximise the opportunities around golf tourism in the run up to the Ryder Cup & beyond.”
Angus Council’s golf and tourism spokesperson councillor David May said: “The Women’s Open was a superb addition to the tournaments hosted at Carnoustie, all of which promote this area’s superb golfing credentials. Our aim is always to maximise the economic benefits these professional tournaments offer and the 2011 Ricoh WBO was another excellent opportunity to showcase leisure golf opportunities in Carnoustie Country to a global audience.”
Carnoustie Golf Links Chief Executive Graeme Duncan said: “We were proud to be the host of the 2011 Ricoh Women’s British Open and thrilled to hear of the economic impact it had on bothScotlandand Angus in particular. Whenever we hold a major event on the links, we understand there is inevitably some disruption to the locality, so it’s good to hear of the money that flows into the area along with the spectators. Not included in this economic survey is the marketing benefit for both Carnoustie and Angus from the Championship TV coverage beamed across the world. We look forward to hosting other high quality events at Carnoustie in the years ahead.”
The Ricoh Women’s British Open is supported as part of EventScotland’s ongoing commitment to women’s golf in the lead up to the 2014 Ryder Cup, which also includes the Aberdeen Ladies Scottish Open at Archerfield from 3 to 5 May 2012.