Cricket World Cup gave economic boost to Australia, New Zealand

Melbourne, June 30 (IANS) The cricket World Cup 2015, hosted by Australia and New Zealand during February and March, was one the biggest sporting events in the history of both countries and provided a significant boost to the local economies.

The findings of an economic impact and benefits analysis carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers show that the tournament generated more than $1.1 billion in direct spending, created the equivalent of 8,320 full-time jobs, and generated a total of two million bed nights across the two countries.

Total attendance amounted to 1,016,420 with 295,000 unique international and interstate visitors to host cities. Of these, there were 145,000 unique international visitors to Australia and New Zealand providing a huge boost to tourism with the largest number of overseas visitors coming from Asia.

The tournament was watched by more than 1.5 billion people worldwide.

In Australia alone, the showpiece event generated more than $785 million in direct spending and created the equivalent of almost 6,000 new jobs across the country. There were 1.49 million bed nights generated with international and interstate visitors spending $520 million alone during their stay.

The final was attended by 93,013 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), a world-record for the largest ever attendance at a game of cricket.

World Cup 2015 Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Harnden said the $1.1 billion in direct spending converted into an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of $460 million across the two countries.

“This was the biggest event in Australia since the 2000 Sydney Olympics and it has changed cricket in New Zealand forever. The World Cup generated two million bed nights across the two countries and around $855 million in visitor spending which is great for the tourism industries of both countries,” Harnden said.

“When you consider the TV audience of over 1.5 billion, saturation of coverage across all digital platforms and the mainstream media coverage of the event across the 14 host cities, the World Cup has not only showcased the best of Australia and New Zealand but has enhanced the tournament’s reputation as a major global driver for economic and community benefit.”

Cricket Australia (CA) Executive General Manager Operations Mike McKenna said the outstanding success and popularity of the tournament proved that cricket was not only Australia’s most popular sport but a significant contributor to the local economy.

“With a programme of Test, ODI and T20 cricket every year, cricket contributes significantly to Australia’s economy. The success of the World Cup in attracting fans from diverse backgrounds and more than 145,000 international visitors has created a fantastic platform for similar or even greater success at the World Twenty20 which will be hosted here in 2020,” McKenna said.

Australian Sports Minister Sussan Ley said the Australian and New Zealand governments had worked closely with the World Cup organisers to ensure the greatest spectacle for sports fans while also maximising the trade and tourism opportunities created by the tournament.

“While fierce rivals on the field, Australia and New Zealand have a proud tradition of working together to deliver world-class sporting events,” Ley said.

“The World Cup has been an outstanding success across all measures which is highlighted by the contribution it has made to the economies of both countries through trade and tourism as well as the unique benefits of sport diplomacy with key partners and markets around the world.”

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