The Open was worth more than £72 million to Scotland last year. These figures are revealed by a comprehensive economic study carried out during the 2005 Open at St Andrews.
The value of The Open was made up by £40 million worth of worldwide television exposure for the host country and £32.3 million of new money for the Scottish economy from spending by spectators, the media, players, and the championship organisers, The R&A.
R&A Director of Championships David Hill said, “We take The Open Championship to a different venue in the UK each year and these findings will help public bodies and local businesses prepare for the scale of the event arriving on their doorstep. Scotland, the home of golf, historically benefits from staging The Open three times in five years.”
Scotland’s Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Patricia Ferguson added, “These impressive figures demonstrate that The Open, and golf in general, are an important economic driver for the Scottish economy.
“Golf tourism provides enormous potential for growth and Scotland, boasting some of the world’s finest courses, is well placed to exploit the global interest in golf.”
The 2005 St Andrews Open attracted 223,000 spectators of whom more than half (57.2 per cent) were Scottish residents, and almost one third (31.2 per cent) came from elsewhere in the UK.
More than one in 10 (11.5%) came from overseas, of whom 44% were from the US, and others from Australia, Canada and Ireland. Of those members of the public interviewed for the survey 90% said that they would be interested in coming back to Scotland.
Last year four Executive agencies – Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International, EventScotland, and VisitScotland – committed a total of £600,000 over three years to The Open Championship to promote Scotland as the home of golf.
At a local level last year’s Open Championship is calculated to have injected a total of £23.1m of new money into the Fife economy.
The figure of £32.3m is the appropriate measure of new money (net total economic impact) for the Scottish economy derived from hosting The Open Championship at St Andrews. Substitution and time switching discounts have been fully applied removing from the calculation all Open Championship spending by residents of the study catchment area and by visitors who would have spent money locally during the week of The Open Championship regardless of the event being staged. Gross total economic impact of The Open Championship in 2005, frequently used as a benchmark for overall event scale is calculated at £90m.
A total of 47 broadcasters covering 194 territories worldwide carried coverage of The Open Championship in 2005. Scenic, graphic and verbal editorial promotion for Scotland was monitored and given a programme specific advertising equivalent value totalling £40m.
The study was commissioned and jointly funded by The R&A and Scottish Enterprise. It was carried out by Comperio Research, the research arm of leading marketing and media group IMG.
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