AS Scotland gets set to kick off this year’s RBS 6 Nations campaign, VisitScotland is looking forward to the huge tourism benefits that hosting rugby’s greatest tournament bring to the nation.
In 2014, a RBS report found that in a typical season visitors to Edinburgh for RBS 6 Nations matches generated £52 million of revenue for Scotland’s economy, £30 million of which was for Edinburgh’s economy.
RBS’s research also showed that £35 million (£24 million in Edinburgh) comes from spending by visitors who attend the matches and their family and friends who accompany them to Edinburgh. An amazing £17 million (£6 million in Edinburgh) comes from spending on hotels, restaurants and bars.
Scotland will host two fixtures at BT Murrayfield in this year’s championship, with home matches taking place Saturday 6 February (England) and Sunday 13 March (France). Both are expected to see thousands of travelling home and away fans flock to the capital.
The resulting economic impact is expected to be even higher this year, with Scottish Rugby selling out BT Murrayfield in record time for both games as interest in the sport continues to surge following Scotland’s successful run to the quarter final stages of the Rugby World Cup last summer.
The games are also expected to provide a boost to Edinburgh Trams, who are running an enhanced service to accommodate the extra 15,000 passengerswho will make their way to BT Murrayfield via the city’s tram network on each match day.
VisitScotland research shows that travelling to Scotland for a sporting event is a popular activity. In 2013, 700,000 nights were spent in Scotland by domestic visitors attending/watching a sporting event, resulting in £59 million boost for the Scottish economy.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “The RBS 6 Nations games always create an exciting and friendly atmosphere in Edinburgh and across Scotland.
“These world class sporting events provide more than just entertainment, they represent a multi-million pound tourism opportunity which delivers economic, cultural and social benefits.
“We look forward to welcoming rugby fans to the upcoming games with England and France and hope to see many extending their stay into extra time to explore Scotland beyond the pitch.”
Dominic McKay, Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer said: “The current Scotland team has made a real connection with rugby fans, especially after their performances at the Rugby World Cup, and this is reflected in the record levels of demand for tickets we are seeing for international matches at BT Murrayfield.
“The economic impact rugby generates throughout the RBS 6 Nations not only benefits local and national businesses. The weekly fixtures of our pro teams in Edinburgh and Glasgow, which also bring visitors into the country, mean we can invest money each year into grassroots rugby across the country, to grow the game for the future.”