Jane Nicholson, Regional Account Director at Hills Balfour shares some thoughts on the rugby and why it’s important to get behind another team….
Dare I mention the Rugby World Cup?!
The Monday “blues” seemed to have set in harder than usual with my fellow commuters this week. Not sure if it was the grey damp start following our unexpected week of Indian summer or perhaps most of the train carriage were England rugby fans, but heads were swinging heavily low . . .
However, it is not just fans of English rugby that are lamenting the national team’s early exit from the Rugby World Cup. Publicans, bosses at ITV and even stock market traders will be rueing England’s defeat at the hands of Australia on Saturday night, which sent the host nation crashing out of the tournament. ITV, which has the broadcasting rights to the 48 World Cup matches, will be among the highest profile casualties of England’s failure to make it to the knock-out stages, as advertisers cut the amount they are willing to spend on slots during games.
There will always be winners and losers in sport, but it was a bitter blow for the Rugby World Cup host nation to drop out so early. England will not get to bask in the glory of a home win, but looking beyond the game, the host destinations for our major sporting events can be the biggest winners in the longer term.
Since its inception in 1987 the increasing scale and reach of Rugby World Cup has helped attract a global audience and provided each Host nation with significant opportunities to attract international tourism, develop infrastructure, advertise itself to investors from around the world and leave a lasting legacy of growing participation at all levels and across a diverse player spectrum.
Rugby World Cup 2015 will attract more international visitors than any previous Rugby World Cup, with up to 466,000 visits expected across the duration of the Tournament. These visitors bring with them significant incremental spending to the Host economy, from purchasing tickets to travel costs, accommodation expense, match day entertainment and in visiting other local tourist attractions. International visitors are expected to contribute up to £869 million in direct expenditure. Investment in infrastructure for the Tournament is expected to reach £85 million, bringing lasting benefits to the Host Cities. The added exposure to a global market will also provide opportunities to attract future tourists and businesses alike.
In total, Rugby World Cup 2015 is expected to deliver up to £2.2 billion in output to the Host economy, translating into an additional £982 million of value added to GDP. These benefits will be felt across the regions, with each Host City expected to attract significant numbers of domestic and international visitors.
I think it may be a little premature for these facts to help console the passionate England fans who will need time to lick their wounds. For those of you with teams qualifying to the next stage – good luck. And for those of you whose team has come to the end of their Rugby World Cup journey, I say find yourself another team to get behind (likely the one you got in the sweepstake at work!) and enjoy the excitement of the knock-out stages.
Personally, I’ve already dusted myself down and I’m getting ready to go to the Australia vs Wales match next Saturday. Having visited Australia 53 times now over 23 years of working in the travel industry, I class myself as an honorary Aussie! Go the Wallabies – Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!