150th Open at St Andrews 'generated £300m for Scottish economy'

A record-breaking 290,000 fans attended the prestigious golf event in north-east Fife last summer.

The 150th Open at St Andrews generated over £300m in economic benefit for Scotland, according to an independent study commissioned by the R&A, VisitScotland, and Fife Council.

The historic Championship provided a total economic impact of £106m to Scotland, according to a study conducted by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC).

Independent research led by YouGov Sport also shows that £201m of destination marketing benefit was delivered for Scotland as a result of the 150th Open being broadcast worldwide through television and digital platforms. 

The total economic benefit delivered last year was the highest in the history of the Championship.  

CEO of the R&A, Martin Slumbers, said: “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.

The tournament attracted a record 290,000 fans to St Andrews, surpassing the previous high mark of 239,000 set at the same venue in 2000.

The study concluded that Fife alone had received a £61m injection of new money as tens of thousands of visitors travelled to the region to attend the Championship.

Fife councillor Altany Craik 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.”

Over half of the spectators who attended (62.3%) travelled from outside of Scotland, including visitors from elsewhere in the UK (31%), the United States of America (19.2%), Canada (2.6%), and the Republic of Ireland (2.3%).

“Hosting the historic 150th Open last year in St Andrews once again underlines the quality, scale, and capability that Scotland has when it comes to showcasing major events to both domestic and global audiences,” said Paul Bush OBE, director of events at VisitScotland.
“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,” he added.

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