Memorandum submitted by the Wales Tourist
1. The Wales Tourist Board (WTB) is the
statutory lead body for tourism in Wales established under the
Development of Tourism Act 1969. WTB has specific responsibility:
to encourage people to visit Wales
and people living in Wales to holiday there;
to encourage the provision and improvement
of tourist amenities and facilities in Wales.
The Tourism (Overseas Promotion) (Wales) Act
1992 subsequently gave WTB increased independence to market Wales
The Government of Wales Act 1998 transferred
the functions and powers of the Secretary of State for Wales under
the above Acts to the National Assembly for Wales.
The mission of WTB:
To improve the economic and social prosperity
of Wales through the effective marketing and development of tourism.
2. This memorandum of written evidence will
concentrate on examining the economic (short/long term) impact
of the Rugby World Cup tournament in 1999 which was hosted by
the Welsh Rugby Union.
3. Tourism is one of the most important
industries in Wales. Overnight visitors to Wales contributed over
£1.4 billion in direct visitor spending to the Welsh economy
in 1999, over 80 per cent of which was generated by visitors from
within the UK. Day trips generated an estimated additional spend
of £775 million. In total, therefore, spending by overnight
and day visitors is worth some £2.1 billion to the Welsh
economyequivalent to 7 per cent of GDP.
4. It is an industry dominated by small
independent operators but supports up to 100,000 jobs directly
and indirectly in Walesmore than 10 per cent of the workforce.
5. A 10 year national tourism strategy for
Wales Achieving Our Potential was launched by the First
Secretary in April 2000. Prepared by WTB, in consultation with
the industry, Achieving Our Potential is the third in a
sequence of medium term strategies. It sets out to identify the
most effective response to the main strategic challenges which
are likely to confront the tourism industry in Wales during the
6. The 49 action points identified in Achieving
Our Potential seek to provide an effective response to a range
of strategic issues. Extending the tourism season in Wales remains
a key strategic challenge for the future. Sport has the potential
to play a more significant role in support of the tourism industry
in Wales. Sporting events, for example, can play a key role in
attracting larger numbers of overseas visitors and in developing
new markets within the UK throughout the year. As well as their
potential for extending the tourism season, sporting events are
equally important in terms of raising the profile of Wales and
reinforcing a distinctive and attractive brand for Wales. The
WTB will be working with partners to develop a national events/festivals
strategy for Wales to ensure a wider distribution of tourism activity
throughout the year and to examine opportunities for developing
packages linking events with accommodation and transport.
7. WTB fully endorses the objectives of
the British Tourist Authority's Sports Tourism Strategy which
seeks to maximise the potential of sport for inbound tourism to
Britain. WTB will continue to work closely with the BTA and other
partners to further develop the tourism potential of staging major
sporting (and cultural) events in the future. To this end, the
WTB have played a full part in preparing the bid for Wales to
host the Ryder Cup in 2009.
8. Wales has many enduring strengths which
will continue to form the basis of its distinctive character and
appeal as a tourist destination but on a global scale, tourism
is becoming more competitive. Awareness of Wales in many overseas
markets, however, remains variable and the lack of strong, identifiable
icon images put Wales at some disadvantage relative to competing
destination areas, particularly in new, emerging markets for the
UK. Even within the UK, it has proved difficult for Wales to establish
a clear national identity beyond its borders which is based on
reality rather than myth. Raising the profile of Wales in domestic
and overseas markets and establishing its distinctive identify
as a different country and an attractive tourism destination area
in the UK is seen as a priority in Achieving Our Potential.
As host to the Rugby World Cup in Autumn 1999, Wales had a unique
opportunity to promote a distinct image globally to increase awareness
of Wales and to stimulate additional visits from the UK and overseas.
9. The Rugby World Cup (RWC) ranks as the
fourth largest sporting event in the world on the basis of income
generated and the number of spectators and viewers it attracts.
It was the largest sporting event to take place anywhere in 1999.
RWC took place during the five week period 1 October to 6 November
1999. The Welsh Rugby Union was the official host of the RWC tournament
and had agreements with the four rugby unions for England, Ireland,
Scotland and France to stage tournament matches in these countries.
Wales hosted nine of the 41 games including the final as well
as the opening and closing ceremonies.
Role of the Wales Tourist Board in RWC
10. The WTB played a lead co-ordinating
role in the marketing and promotion of the RWC tournament. Working
closely with partner organisations, funding was made available
from core budgets and from National Sector Challenge Programme
(NSCP) and European Union ERDF Industrial South Wales Programme
sources. In total, including private sector contributions, WTB
expenditure in support of the RWC amounted to £1.97 million.
Table 1 provides a best estimate of the partnership funding which
was made available to support not only the marketing of the tournament
but also the delivery of essential infrastructure including transportation,
provision of information, community events, environmental improvements
and community participation.
PARTNERSHIP FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR RUGBY WORLD
|Wales Tourist Board
|Cardiff Bay Development Corp.
|Cardiff Marketing Ltd
|Welsh Development Agency
|Arts Council of Wales
|Tourism South and West Wales
|Cardiff Airport Limited
|Cardiff County Council
|Wrexham County Council
|"Public Sector" sub total
|Rugby Solutions Limited
11. In summary, a total of just over £7 million
was spent in relation to the tournament. This includes almost
£3 million of public sector funds, including NSCP, which
was matched by £275,000 from the private sector and over
£2.4 million from ERDF.
12. The WTB's marketing strategy set out to spread the
benefits of the RWC tournament as widely as possible by encouraging
visitors to travel to various parts of Wales during their stay.
The RWC was seen as an opportunity to project a modern and attractive
image of Wales to existing and new markets. The aim was to use
the RWC to stimulate both short and long term benefits for Wales.
In the short term, there was a need to maximise the number of
visitors to the event and their associated spending levels; in
the longer term it was hoped that the tournament would raise awareness
levels of Wales and stimulate new or return visits, thereby securing
lasting economic benefits for Wales.
Evaluation of the Rugby World Cup
13. As part of its bid for NSCP funds, WTB acknowledged
a need to evaluate the impact of the RWC in Wales in order to
demonstrate the competitive benefits which can be gained from
the hosting of a large scale, international sporting event.
14. Independent consultants
were commissioned by WTB to co-ordinate a systematic programme
of research before and during the RWC tournament. The research
programme included a survey of spectators (1,100 interviews),
interviews with tourism-related businesses, measurement of performance
in a representative sample of tourism accommodation/attraction
businesses and research into changing attitudes/perceptions of
Wales in the UK and overseas markets.
Main Findings of Evaluation Research
15. The research programme supported a detailed analysis
of the economic impact of the RWC on Wales and specifically on
Cardiff, Llanelli and Wrexham, where the nine matches were played.
In order to measure the net effect of the RWC on the economy it
was necessary to strip away anything that was not directly attributable
to it. Adjustments were made to account for the effects of additionality
and displacement. Tourism multipliers were also taken into account
to estimate the beneficial knock on effects of the expenditure
generated by the RWC on the local, regional and Welsh economy.
The application of a multiplier is used to reflect the inter dependence
of various sectors of the economy. Money spent in any given area
is likely to lead to further spending elsewhere.
16. The main findings of the research are set out below:
Over 330,000 people visited Wales during a traditionally
quiet tourism season. This level of activity stimulated an additional
480,000 bednights in Wales, over 60 per cent of which were spent
in serviced accommodation.
Residents of Wales comprised 66 per cent of total
visitors, 13 per cent came from the rest of the UK and 21 per
cent from abroad. 58 per cent of all overseas visitors were on
their first trip to Wales.
the RWC had a positive effect on room occupancy
levels in serviced accomodation and led to an increase of up to
17 percentage points in room occupancy during November 1999 compared
with the previous year.
Tourism related businesses invested over £3
million in facility improvement and additional marketing which
can be directly attributable to the RWC.
Short term impact of the RWC on Welsh economy
was in excess of £83 million:
£75 million was estimated to be direct economic
gain for Cardiff which hosted seven of the nine games played in
There were clear indications of a higher propensity
to visit Wales in the future. There was a discernible increase
in the number of people who considered Wales "a dynamic and
cosmopolitan place to visit". The economic benefit from return
visits from the UK and overseas is estimated to range between
£4.4 million to £15 million over the next five years.
The public sector spent a total of just under
£4.8 million in support of the RWC. Based on the expenditure
generated the return to the public sector is approximately 1:17,
which represents good value for money. This calculation excludes
the expected longer term benefits arising from enhanced perceptions
and increased awareness of Wales.
Cardiff (and Wales) demonstrated to a global audience
that it had the capacity to host a major international event successfully.
This will increase the likelihood of future large scale events
being held in Cardiff.
Those who attended the RWC demonstrated very high
levels of satisfaction with their experience. 98 per cent of all
overseas visitors were either very satisfied (75 per cent) or
satisfied (23 per cent) with their visit to Wales. Over 80 per
cent of overseas visitors were likely to recommend Wales to friends/relatives.
17. There is compelling evidence that the RWC was a major
economic success for Wales. In total, the event generated in the
short term net additional benefit for Wales of £83.2 million.
It also had a positive employment impact, stimulating 2,000 part
time jobs during the tournament and longer hours for 4,000 jobs.
A 1:17 public sector return on investment represents significant
value for money.
18. The development of the "state of the art"
Millennium Stadium in Cardiff was a key factor in ensuring the
success of the RWC tournament. The £130 million costs of
construction, however, have not been included in the impact calculations
for RWC as it is difficult to reconcile whether the hosting of
RWC was a benefit of developing the stadium or whether the development
of the stadium was a benefit of hosting RWC.
19. In this context, it would seem to be important for
new stadia to have multiple-use capabilities. Tourism destinations
require a range of different events as part of their marketing
portfolio. Consequently, there is value in stadia managers working
in partnership with those responsible for destination marketing
in order to maximise the real potential and economic benefits
which could accrue from a well planned and co-ordinated events
strategy. The increasing demand for short break holidays makes
the role of major sporting events of increasing importance in
realising the tourism potential of the UK and destinations within
20. It may be helpful to draw the attention of the Committee
to the above report which has recently been published and is attached
for their consideration.
The main purpose of the investigation was to learn from the initial
use of the Millennium Stadium to maximise the potential for the
future in relation to the economic, planning, transportation,
marketing, leisure and tourism perspective.
Rugby Solutions Limited was a non-profit making company established
for the duration of the tournament and was effectively the tournament
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