By Marcus Leach
The 2010 Ryder Cup was a major success for Europe, Colin Montgomerie's men reclaiming the coveted trophy from the USA in a pulsating weekend of golf. However, the impact of the tournament went beyond the obvious golfing success, netting the Welsh economy £82.4 million according to an economic study.
The study, funded by the major partners of the tournament, and conducted by IFM Sports Marketing Surveys, consisted of some 1250 face-to-face interviews during the golfing event, and a further 3000 online interviews. This was supported by interviews with 254 volunteers, 400 local Welsh businesses, 50 Welsh golf clubs and 472 local residents.
Taking into account money spent on site at the Celtic Manor, local travel and extended stays by visitors the study found that a total of £82.4 million was spent across Wales during the week of the tournament. South-east Wales was believed to have profited by £74.6 million, and Newport, home of the Celtic Manor Golf Resort, £28.3 million.
"Such events deliver considerable direct and indirect benefits to the host nation and venue," European Ryder Cup director Richard Hills said.
The findings of the survey follow an earlier study that suggested a 21% boost to proceeds from golf tourism in Wales in 2010 to nearly £42 million.
"Here at Celtic Manor, we experienced substantial increases in golf and leisure revenues in 2009 and 2010, and we've seen a further rise in bookings for 2011," said Russell Phillips, vice president of facilities and development at the Celtic Manor.
"As a nation, Wales has undoubtedly gained huge benefits not only through the direct revenue injected into the economy but also in terms of recognition of the Wales brand globally."
Matthew Evans, Newport Council leader, welcomed the impact the event had on Newport.
"Newport has clearly benefited quite considerably from hosting The 2010 Ryder Cup - not only during the week of the event, as this study shows, but in the run-up and in the longer term," he said.
"Many local businesses gained directly as a result of the event although we always recognised it was not going to bring financial rewards for everyone, especially in view of the economic climate.
"However, the 2010 Ryder Cup has left a number of legacies which will last long into the future including environmental and infrastructure enhancements, new opportunities for our children and worldwide recognition for the city as well as the continuation of the highly successful Newport Festival in 2011."