Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
America’s Cup World Series worth millions to Plymouth
The America’s Cup World Series event generated an estimated £9.1 million for Plymouth’s economy according to a report published today.
The study conducted by Serio at Plymouth University was commissioned by Plymouth City Council and looked at the estimated economic impact of the international sailing event.
Plymouth City Council hosted the ACWS for nine days in September 2011. It brought an estimated 140,250 visitors to the city to watch the high octane yacht racing and live evening entertainment.
The key findings of the Serio study are that the amount visitors to the event spent in the city has an estimated economic impact of £4.11 million. There was also further event expenditure for example; hotels and local suppliers booked by the America’s Cup teams and organisers. The report gives an estimated economic impact of £1.6 million but points out this is a conservative estimate.
The value of media coverage of the event is reported as £4.226 million. However, this doesn’t take into account the direct and immediate benefits to local businesses or the importance of Plymouth being beamed all over the world to perceptions of the city.
Council Leader, Councillor Vivien Pengelly said: "The decision to host the America's Cup World Series showed that Plymouth is a city with vision and ambition to make the most of our wonderful waterfront and tourism opportunities. The turnout of more than 140,000 people goes to show that we can put on international events and we can contribute to the growth of the city's economy by capitalising on what we have to offer.
This study demonstrates not only how much money the event was worth to the economy but also how we have raised Plymouth's profile as a tourist destination on the world stage, how we have improved people's perceptions and raised expectations of what the city can do. This all contributes to the immeasurable overall value of the event and is going to continue to benefit Plymouth for many years to come."
Dave Young, Chair of the Plymouth America's Cup business task group added: "I am delighted that we have achieved such a great result from the event and is a rich reward for the risk the Council took in securing the event in the first place. This impact, which I think is very conservative, shows what the city can do in a true partnership. It is a model for future events and convinces me that we will have other spectacles equally as brilliant and effective as the America’s Cup.”
The researchers also conducted a questionnaire style survey of visitors during the event and found that 56 per cent were from Plymouth and a significant number, 31 per cent, were from outside of the city and abroad. They rated the event highly and perceptions of Plymouth were that it is welcoming, attractive and exciting with quality visitor attractions and the respondents said that the event had a significant, positive impact on the city.
The study also highlights how the longer term impact of hosting the event is likely to be far greater that the immediate figures being reported.
At the same time, America’s Cup World Series: Plymouth Review, a report by Positively Plymouth has been published. This looks at the business benefits and the longer term opportunities and lasting legacy created by the event.
While hotels and restaurants saw increases in bookings year on year, more than 89 local businesses also won direct contracts with the America’s Cup organisers.
There were two million hits on You Tube for the ACWS videos that showcased Plymouth as a fantastic waterfront destination, promoting the city to tourists and businesses around the world. Hosting the international event created an opportunity to entice investors to the city and 45 investors, including CEOs of leading developers and major environmental technology companies, visited the city to hear about what Plymouth has to offer.
The full report will be available on the Plymouth City Council website.
23 February 2012