Independent research commissioned by The R&A highlights that last year’s Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes delivered a £65 million benefit to Lancashire from the week-long event.
The headline figure includes £28 million pumped into the Lancashire economy by spectators, organisers, sponsors, the media and the players themselves, as well as a destination marketing benefit worth £37 million derived from exposure on global television. An analysis of the huge commercial involvement in the event and interviews with more than 2,000 spectators, carried out by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre, found that the vast majority of the extra spending – some £25 million – took place within the Fylde Coast.
Commenting on the research findings The R&A’s Director of Marketing, Robin Bell said: “We found a worthy winner in Ernie Els at Royal Lytham& St Annes and we are delighted that the Championship also delivered a significant benefit to the local community.”
“In one week, the total amount of new money entering the Lancashire economy reached £28 million and the tourism legacy benefit of broadcast images on global television of the Fylde Coast and attractions such as Fairhaven Lake, Blackpool Tower and the Pleasure Beach will pay back in visitor numbers for years to come,” added Bell.
The tourism industry received a massive boost, with the equivalent of more than 110,000 single night stays by people attending the event.
Welcoming the figures, Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Environment and Planning, County Councillor Michael Green, said: “Attracting The Open Championship to the county was clearly good for business, not least when you consider as many as eight out of ten spectators travelled here from outside Lancashire.
“Businesses and residents gave them a warm welcome and we trust it will not be too long before golf’s oldest Major Championship makes a return visit”.
Commenting on the legacy of The Open Championship, Fylde Borough Council Leader. Councillor David Eaves said: “The Open is one of the world’s great sports events and through exposure on global television it delivers a healthy legacy for golf tourism in Fylde and inspires participation by local people, young and old, in the sport.”
A total of 181,400 spectator admissions were recorded at The Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes and over 3,800 hours of televised coverage was monitored reaching 500 million households worldwide.
Royal Lytham & St Annes www.royallytham.org
Open Championship www.OpenGolf.com