Dover District Council in partnership with Kent County Council and the Royal & Ancient have commissioned HLL Humberts Leisure, leading international leisure business consultants, to measure the economic impact of the 2003 Open Golf Championship at the Royal St George’s Golf Club, Sandwich.
The study follows a pilot exercise completed for the Muirfield event last year which estimated that the 2002 Open resulted in an additional spending of £16 million within the Edinburgh and Lothians region, of which £7 million was spent directly within East Lothian, the district hosting the Championship. Approximately 76% of this estimated expenditure was created by spectators visiting the Championship.
Most jobs associated with such sporting events are temporary by their nature. However, Humberts Leisure estimated that some 250 existing jobs in the hotel, catering, retail and transport industries were sustained, which might otherwise have been lost without the replacement of the expenditure associated with the event.
Nadeem Aziz, Dover District Council’s managing director, said, “The study of last year’s Open Championship illustrates the importance of hosting such events in bringing additional spending into our local economy to help to sustain local jobs in the retail, tourism and transport industries. That is why Dover District Council and their partners are pleased to welcome and support the hosting of the Open at Sandwich this year. The Open, and the national and international focus that it brings to the area, is an invaluable long term benefit to local business.”
Activity surrounding the event lasts much longer than the four days of the Championship itself. Qualifying rounds take place at four other East Kent golf courses in the preceding week, while contractors are setting up stands, catering and exhibition tents for months in advance. It all adds up to a lot of mouths to feed, and a lot of beds and transport to find. C G Illsley, chairman of Sandwich Chamber of Commerce says, “Businesses in Sandwich are gearing up for the Open to provide the best possible hospitality and service to visiting spectators. We look forward to welcoming visitors to our accommodation, shops, pubs, cafes, restaurants and other local business.”
Martin Taylor, the director in charge of the study at HLL Humberts Leisure said, “It is vital that we record the impact upon the local economy as accurately as possible to help Dover Council and other local authorities to determine the level of support they can allocate to staging such sporting events in future.”
For further information, please contact: Martin Taylor BA (Hons) BTP MRTPI MIED MTS at HLL Humberts Leisure on telephone: 01273 325 911 e-mail: : firstname.lastname@example.org
HHL Humberts Leisure www.humberts-leisure.com