The 2015 Open Championship in St Andrews delivered £140 million of economic benefit to Scotland - the largest amount ever achieved by a golf event in the UK.
The 2015 Open Championship in St Andrews delivered £140 million of economic benefit to Scotland - the largest amount ever achieved by a golf event in the United Kingdom or Ireland, according to an independent economic impact assessment.
The study, commissioned by the R&A, shows spending by visitors to Scotland for the tournament generated £88 million – nearly double the £47.5 million in visitor impact achieved in 2010 when the event was last held at the Old Course.
A further £52 million in marketing benefit was realised thanks to the exposure gained by St Andrews and Scotland being broadcast to more than 500 million households worldwide, according to separate research carried out by Kantar Media Sport Intelligence.
The economic impact assessment, carried out by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre, estimates that Fife alone benefitted to the tune of around £52 million, and suggests there is a “St Andrew’s effect” that has seen visitor numbers to the Old Course exceed all previous years.
Other key findings from the study include:
- Total spectator admissions over the course of the championship (including practice days and Championship days) were 237,024, with 93,000 unique spectators.
- There were 26,400 spectators from overseas - 28 per cent of the total, compared to 20 per cent in 2010.
- More than three quarters of overseas spectators were attending the Open for the first time in 2015. The corresponding figures for the two previous events held at St Andrews in 2010 and 2005 were 65 per cent and 62 per cent respectively.
- More than two thirds of the total visitors and 80 per cent of visitors from the UK said they expect to return to Scotland within one year thanks to the positive experience they had.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“We all know that golf and its origins are synonymous with Scotland but these excellent figures show that the connection between the game and its spiritual home is as strong and productive as ever.
It is always a special homecoming for players and spectators alike when The Open returns to the Old Course – they have the opportunity to experience not only one of the finest courses in the world, but also take in such a stunning setting on the Fife coast.''
Next year's Open Championship will be hosted at Royal Troon from 14th-17th June.