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The Open Championship 2005: economic impact assessment


The world-class golf Open Championship takes place in the Fife town of St Andrews at least four out of every seven years and it is the aim of Scottish Enterprise (SE) to make St Andrews a world-class tourist destination for this event. This economic impact assessment was commissioned to evaluate the direct, indirect and induced net economic impact in terms of output and employment resulting from additional expenditure at the Open Championship, and the advertising equivalent value of the exposure generated for St Andrews, Fife and Scotland through the TV programming of the event.


Interviews were undertaken with spectators, corporate guests, media personnel and staff at the event, focusing on their expenditure habits, country of residence and related demographic data. The R&A provided information about the contractors present at the event as well as attendance data and information about its own expenditure. IMG/TWI provided data about players’ and media companies’ expenditure. Certain economic assumptions, including displacement impacts, were taken into account when analysing the data.


Findings included the following: the total net economic impact of the event for Fife was £23.1 million while for Scotland it was £32.3 million; and approximately 615 jobs were created in Fife and 960 in Scotland as a result, directly or indirectly, of the event; all businesses surveyed felt that the Open would benefit the economies of both Fife and Scotland, and all increased their outputs during the event; visitors gave positive feedback in terms of previous and future visits to the event; and £40 million was generated by the event in advertising equivalent value.


Some recommendations were made on how SE could continue to capitalise on the attraction of the Open Championship in St Andrews: international spectators should be focused on as the group likely to generate the most additional income for the town, and Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Executive should work to create a business environment in Scotland that encourages the use of local suppliers for major events such as the Open.

Author Comperio Research
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
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