Rugby World Cup 2015 hailed as big opportunity for hospitality

By Carina Perkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Rugby World Cup 2015 will take place in cities across England and Wales from Sept 18 to Oct 31 2015
The Rugby World Cup 2015 will take place in cities across England and Wales from Sept 18 to Oct 31 2015

Related tags: Rugby world cup, Fifa world cup, England

VistEngland has described the Rugby World Cup 2015 as a 'tremendous opportunity' for tourism and hospitality, with hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars in host cities set to benefit from a big increase in international spend.

England will host the world’s largest sporting event on Sept 18 to Oct 31 2015, with 48 fixtures taking place in Birmingham, Brighton, Exeter, Cardiff, Gloucester, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester and London.

Analysis from Deloittes suggests the Rugby World Cup 2015 will be worth an estimated £2.1bn to the British economy, much of which will be generated by direct spend on accommodation, food and beverages by domestic and international fans.

Chairman of VisitEngland, Lady Cobham CBE, said: “We’re incredibly excited at the tourism potential for England with one year to go until the arrival of Rugby World Cup 2015.

“England is a world class tourist destination and this high profile event provides a fantastic platform for our host cities and destinations to encourage and entice visitors to explore the wonderful experiences on offer.

“This is not only an opportunity for the host destinations, but for the entire country, as fans from home and abroad assemble, and media from across the globe focus their spotlight on England as host to the world’s third biggest sporting event.”

Inbound spend

According report put together by the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, commissioned by Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL), the Rugby World Cup is second only to the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games in terms of the number of international visitors it attracts.

Additionally, rugby has a higher concentration of supporters in higher socio-economic groupings, so the Rugby World Cup tends to attract international visitors with a greater propensity to spend than other sporting events.

In England, for example, 54 per cent of those who attend and watch rugby games are from the AB social groups, compared to 24 per cent of the overall adult population.

The majority of the direct spending by these visitors is on accommodation, food and beverages, with total direct spend ranging from £400m to over £800m in European countries that host the Rugby World Cup.

Deloitte said the large influx of international visitors, many of whom have not visited the country or city hosting the Rugby World Cup previously, presents ‘an excellent opportunity to showcase the country and secure repeat visits and positive word of mouth publicity’.

Hotel growth

A recent report from analyst PwC​ predicted that the Rugby World Cup would help drive RevPAR growth of 5.1 per cent in London and 6 per cent in the regions next year.

 “We expect further growth in 2015 from demand to attend Rugby World Cup matches,” said Liz Hall, head of hospitality and leisure research at PwC.

“With a third of matches set to be played on a Sunday - traditionally a low occupancy night - the event is a great opportunity for hotels.” 

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