February 25th 2008
This is just one of the findings from a recent economic impact assessment undertaken by Comperio Research – the research division of IMG. The study was commissioned by both Angus Council and Scottish Enterprise, in a bid to understand the extent to which hosting The Open Championship boosted overall economic growth in Carnoustie, and the surrounding areas.
The Open is golf’s oldest major championship, and takes place annually on one of nine historic golf courses in the UK. The 2007 event was held at Carnoustie in the Scottish county of Angus, and played from July 19 to July 22.
Comperio’s robust research programme incorporated an evaluation of the media exposure generated through the event, as well as an in-depth analysis of all income derived from spectators, contractors, corporate hospitality guests and the Media.
Further interesting findings uncovered by the research are:
The Open contributed £26 million to the overall Scottish economy.
The Open is a major tourist draw, as only 4% of spectators were residents of the Angus region, with the remainder travelling in from other areas in Scotland (51%), the rest of the UK (30%) and overseas (15%).
Overseas visitors stayed in the area longer than national visitors, averaging 5 nights versus 2 nights, and they spent 4.5 times as much money.
More than half of the respondents interviewed, stated that their experience of visiting The 2007 Open would make them more likely to visit Scotland again.
Television coverage that included scenic and graphic reference to the Angus countryside totalled 171 hours of exposure, which is equivalent to a gross advertising value of some £34 million. Nearly half of this was generated in North America.
Commenting on the research project, David Valentine, Head of Economic Development at Angus Council said: “This is the seventh time that Carnoustie has staged the Open Championship. We were already aware of the economic benefits, but we felt we needed some hard facts and figures to help us understand the true worth of the event and to inform a variety of tourism strategies and programmes. This is why we chose to work with Comperio, who, having conducted a baseline economic impact assessment for the 2005 Open at St Andrews, were best placed to undertake this assignment for us. The intelligence they have delivered has certainly helped us appreciate how the event drives tourism and stimulates various revenue streams in both the local and national economy.
We now plan to leverage this newly acquired insight to ensure we maximise the positive impact of future events and in developing our strategy for Carnoustie Country – one of the best known golf destination brands within the UK. There is clearly potential for Carnoustie Country’s splendid range of golf tourism products to play a key role in the development of Scotland’s economy and we intend to exploit every opportunity”.