The economic benefit of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, hosted by the UK, is estimated to be an around 1 billion pound boon for the national economy, an economic impact report from EY indicates. Besides the players being on show, the event will also create a context for host cities and local businesses to show themselves off internationally.
In the report, titled ‘The economic impact of Rugby World Cup 2015’, consulting firm EY estimates a visitors’ contribution of up to £982 million to national GDP. The 2015 Rugby World Cup (RWC) is expected to attract visitors from all over the world, more than any Rugby World Cup before it. Europe will contribute the largest fan base, with up to 294,000 visitors.
However, fans from rugby nations, like New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, are expected to land in force. Up to 89,000 Wallabie fans are expected to fly from Australia to the event, and up to 21,000 South African fans will make their presence felt in the stands. In total the 2015 Cup is expected to attract 494,000 visitors, with a significant proportion of them, from international origins.
The report notes that particularly international visitors “[are] a net addition to the demand for goods and services in the wider economy, with a multiplier effect that ripples through supply chains.” High international visitor numbers are expected to kick off a successful event as South African visitors are estimated to spend up to £200 per day and stay for up to 22 days and Australasian visitors will stay for up to 24 nights and spend on average £173 per day. European visitors, in contrast, are expected to stay only 3 nights with an amount of £121 per day.
Besides the potential economic spinoff from the 2015 RWC, the report suggests that the 11 host cities have an opportunity to gain significantly additional value from the event. The 2011 RWC in Auckland opened up an increased sense of community, 88% of inhabitants agreed afterwards. The 2015 RWC is looking to emulate this through the creation of ‘Fanzones’, use of local volunteers and localised events. The 2011 RWC also allowed 52% of New Zealand businesses to network internationally, something the 2015 event aims to reproduce for UK businesses. The event also creates the opportunity for the 11 host cities and the country as a whole to show itself off as a tourist destination, after the RWC 2011 93% of international visitors said they wanted to return in the future.