Hosting The 145th Open at Royal Troon delivered more than £110 million worth of benefit to Scotland, according to an independent study announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The Open, which attracted 173,000 spectators to the Ayrshire coastline in 2016, delivered an economic impact of more than £64 million according to the study compiled by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre.
In addition, the country benefited from an additional £46 million in destination marketing benefit thanks to the exposure afforded to Scotland from the Championship, which was broadcast on television in 193 territories to more than 600 million households worldwide.
The research, which was commissioned by The R&A, VisitScotland and South Ayrshire Council, concluded that Ayrshire alone benefited from spending by event specific visitors and on event infrastructure amounting to £23 million in economic impact.
Almost half of the spectators who attended The Open (49 per cent) travelled from Scotland, while two-thirds of Scots spectators came from outside Ayrshire. 62 per cent of non-Ayrshire residents indicated they would return to South Ayrshire for a break within 12 months.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Hosting The Open is a chance to see one of the world’s most popular sports return to the country where it all started, so these are brilliant figures which highlight the huge economic benefit that bringing home such a prestigious championship has for Scotland.
“Troon is a fantastic course enjoyed by players and spectators alike, both for the quality and challenge of the course, and the remarkable scenery. However, it’s much more wide-ranging than that – it showcases Scotland’s ability to host world class events, it has benefits for local businesses and hotels – and it also inspires the next generation of players. We look forward to welcoming the world to Carnoustie in 2018 for the 147th Open Championship.”
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, added: “The Open is one of the world’s great sporting events and generates substantial economic benefit for the host country. We were delighted with the success of the Championship at Royal Troon which delivered tremendous entertainment for the tens of thousands of fans who came along to see the world’s top golfers competing. Henrik Stenson’s victory after such a gripping duel with Phil Mickelson was one of the finest performances in the long history of The Open.”