Ryder Cup injected €143m into Irish economy

The Ryder Cup pumped a record €143m directly into the Irish economy, it was revealed today.

The Ryder Cup pumped a record €143m directly into the Irish economy, it was revealed today.

The wider knock-on effect of the golf tournament, which attracted the biggest names in the game to the K Club in Co Kildare, is estimated to have generated spendings of €240m across the country.

New figures revealed an additional 90,000 overseas visitors holidayed in Ireland in September 2006, compared to the same month the previous year, with a majority attending the Ryder Cup.

The Total Direct Economic Impact figure exceeded pre-event predictions of €130m - a 32% increase on the impact of The 2002 Ryder Cup in England and an 80% increase on that of the 1997 tournament in Spain.

The bulk of the economic impact came from event organisers and spectators, who each spent an average of €350 per day while at the event, with overseas spectators spending the most, at €526 per day.

In the corporate sector the guests spent €500 each day, while guests from the United States spent around €600 per day.

The report, by Deloitte & Touche, was jointly commissioned by Ryder Cup Europe and Fáilte Ireland.

"We are delighted that these figures, calculated using conservative methodology, accurately reflect the increasing popularity of The Ryder Cup and golf in the market place, and the way in which the event and the game - allied to a strong partnership between Ryder Cup and Fáilte Ireland - drive tourism," said Richard Hills, The Ryder Cup Director.

"This is highlighted by the fact that in addition to spending three days at The Ryder Cup, visitors from America stayed in Ireland for a further 4.7 days, while other overseas visitors stayed for an additional three days."

The report found that total spectator spending was up 60% compared to The Belfry in 2002, mostly due to the increased week-long attendance of 260,000 in 2006 compared to 147,000 in 2002.

Ireland also benefited from a more than 50% increase in spending by spectators outside the event compared to 2002, with overseas spectators staying longer and spending more than ever before on extended holidays around The Ryder Cup.

Europe claimed their third consecutive Ryder Cup in Kildare with an outstanding display of golf in an 18.5 to 9.5 victory over the American team in front of more than 40,000 fans.

Colin Montgomerie, Paul Casey, David Howell, Luke Donald and Darren Clarke - who lost his wife Heather to cancer just six weeks before - were on the winning side against Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco among others.

The 37th Ryder Cup will be held at Valhalla Golf Club, in Louisville, Kentucky, in September.

"Not only does the report confirm that the total economic benefit of the event to the economy comfortably exceeded earlier estimates, it also confirms previously reported perceptions about our visitors' experience, with over 80% suggesting that they would return to Ireland in the future and 92% prepared to recommend Ireland as a golfing holiday destination," said John O'Donoghue, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism.

The Minister said that the challenge now is to build on this positive outcome and to ensure that the legacy of The Ryder Cup 2006 is secured for the benefit of Irish tourism.

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