We report on a series of findings arising from spectator responses to a questionnaire issued at the Rally Ireland event of 15-18 November 2007. In so doing we develop a spectator profile, travel patterns, and the expenditure of spectators at the event. An assessment is made of the Rally’s overall economic impact, taking into account all of the expenditures generated which could be identified. Estimates of media impact are also reported.The total number of useable responses was 178, with spectators selected at random on Friday November 16, at Special Stages 6,7, and 8, and on Saturday November 17, at Special Stages 13, 14, and 15.The sample was overwhelmingly male, 87.6%, and 56.2% of respondents fell into the 20-35 age group. The impression of young males travelling in “packs” is confirmed by the striking proportion, 83.7%, which attended in groups of three or more.Fully 92.7% of those surveyed came from Ireland, 54.5% from Northern Ireland, and 38.2% from the Republic of Ireland; those who travelled to the region for the sole purpose of attending the rally were 81.4% of those surveyed.We estimate that the number of spectators at the event was between 100,000 and 150,000; these figures are based on police and organisers' assessments, adjusted to take account of different lengths of stay by respondents. These figures, as upper and lower bounds to the actual figure, provide a means of estimating the economic impact of the Rally Ireland event.Only 32.8% of those surveyed paid for their accommodation, a total demand for between 32,800 and 49,200 commercial beds. The estimated accommodation available in the region in 2003 (the latest date for which figures are available) was estimated at 21,035, and it seems unlikely to have increased substantially over the past four years. It is probable that at least some of those who said they would be paying for their accommodation did not find a bed for the night in question.We estimate that the total spending attributable to the Rally, based on the accepted Sports industry assumptions, lies between €39.1m and €58.7m. These figures are in line with those estimated from previous research into the economic impact of this event carried out in 2005 and 2006 (University of Ulster).The data suggest that about 135,000 cross-border nights resulted from the Rally; this is the number of people from the Republic spending nights in Northern Ireland plus the number of people from Northern Ireland spending nights in the Republic.The economic impact of non-spectator spending (media, sponsors, teams) is not usually measured; we report over €650,000 of such expenditure, and itemise other areas of spending which make a difference to the local economy. Rally Ireland 2007 was a success; it generated at least €39.1 million of additional spending, which was an additional and valuable stimulus to the economy of the North-West of the island at a difficult time of year for the tourism sector.
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 12 Dec 2007|
- Rally Ireland