The 2015 Rugby World Cup in England is set to deliver nearly £1 billion ($1.6 billion/€1.3 billion) into the British economy, an economic impact study has revealed.
The study, undertaken by professional services firm Ernst & Young on behalf of England 2015, looked at the different ways in which a Rugby World Cup can benefit the host nation.
It estimates that the tournament will generate a total output of around £2.2 billion (£3.4 billion/€2.8 billion), which is in line with a previous economic study undertaken by Deloitte in 2008.
The Ernst & Young report predicts that this will translate into a contribution of £982 million ($1.5 billion/€1.2 billion) to national Gross Domestic Product.
The report states that the 2015 Rugby World Cup is expected to attract more international visitors than any previous edition, with an estimate of up to 466,000 visits.
Through spend on items including travel and accommodation, visitors are expected to contribute up to £869 million ($1.4 billion/€1.1 billion) in direct expenditure.
In 2011, 133,000 visitors stayed an average of 23 nights during the 44-day event with an overall economic impact of NZD $1.73 billion (£900 million/$1.4 billion/€1.1 billion)
"Rugby World Cup 2015 is set to create a wide range of economic opportunities across many different sectors," said England 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans.
"Whether through investment in infrastructure, supporting jobs or generating revenue in fan zones, the economic benefits will be shared around our 11 host cities and beyond.
"With Rugby World Cup 2015 expected to attract more visitors than any previous Rugby World Cup, the tournament is on track to deliver a strong economic legacy."
With many of the match venues and team bases improving their facilities ahead of the tournament and host cities committing to improving transport links, the report estimates that £85 million ($133 million/€106 million) has been invested in infrastructure.
This includes the £76 million ($119 million/€95 million) redevelopment of Twickenham Stadium by the Rugby Football Union.
These infrastructure investments are expected to continue to deliver benefits to the local communities long after the tournament has finished.
"Our forecasts are based on a whole range of direct, indirect and induced benefits of Rugby World Cup 2015, from the investment that will be made in infrastructure to the ticket and tax revenues that will be generated," said the author of the report, Peter Arnold, an Ernst & Young Director.
"The tournament creates economic activity and employment throughout the supply chain, which has the potential to bolster the growth of the host cities as well as in Great Britain overall."
The hosting of the tournament will help support a wide range of job opportunities across different sectors for a variety of different demographics of the population.
The report estimates that up to 41,000 jobs will be supported across the country.
This includes 16,000 employees directly linked to the tournament and 12,000 along the supply chain.
With the tournament being hosted across 13 venues in 11 cities, the economic benefits will be shared around the country.
The report estimates figures for each of the host cities and looks at Exeter and Newcastle as case studies.
It is estimated that in Exeter the tournament will generate economic output of £39 million ($61 million/€49 million) and, of this, £17 million ($27 million/€21 million) will be added to the local economy.
For Newcastle, the tournament is estimated to generate economic output of £93 million ($146 million/€116 million) and of this, £43 million ($67 million/€54 million) will be added to the local economy.
"Rugby World Cup is one of the world's biggest and most popular global sporting events that attracts sports and major event fans from around the world for a six-week celebration of rugby and the host nation," said Rugby World Cup Limited chairman, Bernard Lapasset.
"The findings of the Ernst & Young report outline the enormous economic, sporting and social benefits of the Rugby World Cup, reaffirming its low-risk, high-return attractiveness to future host unions and Governments and just why the tournament increasingly is great for rugby and great for the host nation.
"We are looking forward to a very special and record-breaking England 2015 tournament on and off the field that will provide a strong profile and financial platform to reach out, attract and inspire new players and fans around the world."
Great Britain's Minister for Sport, Helen Grant, added: "Rugby World Cup 2015 will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase the very best of what this country has to offer to an international audience.
"Hosting the tournament next year will further cement the UK's reputation in hosting major sporting events, create additional jobs and I'm extremely encouraged by the £1 billion ($1.6 billion/€1.3 billion) contribution the competition will make to the economy."
A full copy of the report can be downloaded here.
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