Spectators attending The 2010 Celtic Manor Wales Open golf tournament spent more than £1.5m in Newport and South Wales, according to an economic impact study.
The substantial boost to the local economy came as visiting golf fans spent the money on accommodation, food, travel, tournament tickets and associated costs while attending The European Tour event last June 3-6.
The findings do not relate to The 2010 Ryder Cup held later in the year at Celtic Manor. Details of a separate economic impact study commissioned for that event will be released later in the month of March.
Most of the spending at The Celtic Manor Wales Open stayed in Newport, which benefited to the tune of £1.4m, with £700,000 being spent on-site at the tournament venue and a similar amount being spent off-site at surrounding hotels, restaurants and other businesses.
A four-day attendance of 43,000 watched the tournament which was won by Graeme McDowell, the golfer who went on to become US Open champion before holing the winning putt in October’s Ryder Cup.
Almost half of the spectators came from outside Wales – predominantly from England and Scotland – and more than a fifth of those attending (22 per cent) stayed overnight in the area, bringing most of the economic benefit to the region.
Celtic Manor Resort Marketing and Commercial Director Gareth Rees Jones said: “The results of this study show that The Celtic Manor Wales Open generates a great deal of income for Newport and the immediate surrounding area.
“We have always known the tournament brings exposure and benefits that reach far beyond the boundaries of Celtic Manor and these findings certainly back that up. The event is watched by millions of people in 44 different countries around the world.
“This year will see our 12th staging of the tournament and we are committed to host the tournament until at least 2014, so the total benefit over 15 years is likely to exceed £20m.
“The Celtic Manor Resort is also a substantial contributor to the local economy on a year-round basis with an annual outlay in excess of £14m to employees, suppliers and contractors within the NP postcode area.”
Councillor Matthew Evans, leader of Newport City Council, added: “It is very satisfying to see this official confirmation that The Celtic Manor Wales Open brings substantial benefits to the city during the course of the event besides the longer term benefits.
“The Celtic Manor is undoubtedly one of our leading businesses and an asset to our city as it puts millions of pounds each year into the local economy and helps to raise Newport’s profile both nationally and internationally.
“I am delighted that there is a commitment to continue staging this prestigious golf tournament in Newport for at least another four years.”
As well as players and spectators, The Celtic Manor Wales Open also attracts caddies, media, contractors, volunteer marshals and other officials, the majority of whom require accommodation.
The Celtic Manor Wales Open has been staged every year since 2000 but last year was the first time an economic impact study had been commissioned. The specialist agency, IFM Sports Marketing Surveys, interviewed a cross-section of people attending the tournament as well as local businesses to realise its findings.
Almost half of the spectators were repeat visitors to the tournament while a further 10,000 had followed recommendations from others who had attended previously. Most of those staying in South Wales were visiting solely for the tournament but 15 per cent of that number were extending their stay in Wales, bringing further tourism benefits to the country.
The figures quoted from the economic impact study concentrated on the direct spend during the week of the tournament alone and made no account of the media profile brought by the tournament and other long-term benefits to Celtic Manor, Newport and Wales.