Impressive results of an economic impact study of hosting the 2013 Ricoh Women’s British Open at St Andrews in Scotland were revealed today. The report shows that the global media exposure for Scotland over the four days of the Championship reached £8.33m and the net total impact (on Scotland) of the 2013 Championship was estimated at £5.2m, up £0.5m, when compared with the 2011 edition at Carnoustie.
The study, undertaken by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University and commissioned by event organisers the Ladies’ Golf Union and IMG, EventScotland, Fife Council and Scottish Enterprise, assessed the economic impact generated by the 2013 Championship on the local economy (Fife) and wider Scottish economy taking into account spending and activities of golfers, spectators, media, event staff, sponsors, and the organisers.
Speaking on behalf of the Championship, Ross Hallett, VP IMG Golf, said “The Ricoh Women’s British Open is one of the highlights of the Women’s global golf schedule and to bring the event back to St Andrews, was a very popular move for players and fans alike and much credit goes to EventScotland for their commitment to the delivery of world-class golf in Scotland. The results of the study underline the importance of the Championship to the local and national economies and we are looking forward to returning to Scotland in 2015.”
Paul Bush, COO of EventScotland, said “We are delighted with the impact that the 2013 Ricoh Women’s British Open has made to not only the local economy in Fife but to the rest of Scotland. Hosting an event of such prestige underlines not only Scotland’s position as The Home of Golf but also home to the world’s biggest golf events. The Ricoh Women’s British Open remains a key component in our golf event investment programme and with the ever increasing TV and media exposure that the tournament delivers I am certain that we will be in for another great instalment in 2015 at Turnberry.”
The Championship at St Andrews was the second instalment of a multi-year commitment by EventScotland to support the Ricoh Women’s British Open in Scotland, which runs up to and including 2019. As a direct result of the Championship the net direct expenditure (of visitors and organisers) in Fife equated to £3.46m, an increase of £0.57m, when compared with the effects on Angus of the 2011 Ricoh Women’s Open at Carnoustie.
Cllr. Lesley Laird, of Fife Council, added: “Golf tourism is a hugely important economic driver for Fife and hosting major golf events is a key part of that. The Ricoh Women’s British Open is another successful example of St Andrews and Fife playing host to key golf events and we look forward to welcoming yet another huge event when The Open Championship returns to the Kingdom in 2015.
“The financial benefits to Fife in pure monetary terms are obvious but it is also much more than that. It is about continuing to grow and market our reputation and showcase the extensive and excellent golf courses and golf tourism businesses across the Kingdom.
We will continue to support the growth of golf tourism and events in Fife through the Fife Golf Partnership.”
The percentage of spectators that planned to revisit Fife (for leisure) within a year increased to 71% of all visitors (including those from elsewhere in Scotland), based upon their experiences at St Andrews during the 2013 Ricoh Women’s Open; whilst two-thirds of all visitors to Scotland expected to return within a year. More than 40% of all spectators and 20% of those residing overseas planned to attend the next Scottish hosting of the Championship at Turnberry in 2015 – exemplifying the global pull of the Ricoh Women’s Open.
According to the media equivalency value, the exposure from global television coverage and national and international print media, increased four- fold compared with the 2007 Championship at St Andrews and this helped to showcase Scotland as a visitor destination. Global broadcast hours increased significantly from 357 hours of coverage in 2007 to 3,166 hours for the 2013 Championship.
Ladies Golf Union www.lgu.org