150th Open at St Andrews generated over £300m in economic benefit

The R&A announced in a statement on Wednesday that the 150th Open at St Andrews had generated a lucrative economic benefit. 

Lara Kuipers's picture
Wed, 19 Apr 2023
150th Open at St Andrews generated over £300m in economic benefit

Last year's 150th Open at St Andrews generated over £300m in economic benefit for Scotland, the R&A announced in a press release Wednesday. 

The number of £300m was according to an independent study commissioned by The R&A, VisitScotland, and Fife Council. 

The 150th Open, which was won by Cameron Smith, generated a total economic impact to Scotland of £106m according to a study by Sheffield Hallam University's Sport Industry Research Centre. 

Another independent study, this one by YouGov Sport, said that as a result of the Open's global broadcast, £201m was generated benefitting destination marketing for Scotland. 

All in all, this total from last year's trip to St. Andrews was the highest in the history of The Open. 

"The 150th Open was a historic occasion for golf which has generated a substantial economic benefit for Scotland thanks to a record-breaking attendance at St Andrews and tens of millions of fans worldwide who watched the Championship broadcast," said R&A CEO Martin Slumbers.

He added:

“We enjoyed a hugely memorable week in which we welcomed tens of thousands of visitors to the home of golf for perhaps the most eagerly anticipated Open of all time that certainly lived up to its billing. We would like to thank all of our partners for their support and commitment to staging a world-class event.”

Christina McKelvie, the culture minister; Paul Bush OBE, the director of events at VisitScotland; and Fife Council Councillor Altany Craik, all also spoke on the incredible achievement in the release. 

"Scotland is the Home of Golf and this independent report confirms the significant benefit The 150th Open brought to our economy," said McKelvie.

“The Scottish Government has a long-standing track record of supporting golf events, including direct support for the annual men’s and women’s Scottish Open. Last year was an unprecedented success for golf events in Scotland, headlined by The 150th Open at St Andrews.”

Bush added:

"2022 marked a momentous year for golf in Scotland with a number of the world’s biggest and most prestigious golf championships returning home to be played over an action packed five weeks. Hosting the historic 150th Open last year in St Andrews, a venue synonymous with the greatest names and most memorable moments in golf, once again underlines the quality, scale and capability which Scotland has when it comes to showcasing major events to both domestic and global audiences.  
“Today’s impact figures emphasise the importance of the Championships to both Fife and Scotland, and to the wider post-pandemic recovery with the scale of benefits strengthening another significant chapter in Scotland’s rich golfing history.”

Councillor Craik was also quoted. He said:

"We were delighted to welcome record-breaking numbers of visitors to Fife in 2022 for The Open. The past three years have been a very difficult time for tourism, and this provided a very welcome boost to our accommodation providers, restaurants and other tourism-related businesses. The Open is an ideal way to showcase Fife to an international audience, many of whom are visiting for the first time, and I hope that the positive experiences they had mean that many will come back again either for golf or for a holiday. The economic benefit to the area is clear to see, and we congratulate The R&A and partners on hosting such a successful event."

It was reported that 290,000 fans attended St Andrews for The Open and that Fife had received £61 million from the fans travelling to the area. 

According to the release, 62.3 per cent of the spectators at last year's Open came from outside of Scotland. About 48 per cent of the fans said they were at the first ever Open and more than half of the spectators said they were intending to attend another one in the next few years. 

The 151st Open is set to be held later this year at Royal Liverpool. 

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