THE Six Nations rugby championship is worth £52 million to the Scottish economy every year, according to economists.
Edinburgh, where Scotland’s home matches are played at Murrayfield, receives around £33 million, with hotels, bars and restaurants benefiting most.
The study by tournament sponsor RBS found that across all six nations that take part - Scotland, England, France, Ireland, Italy and Wales - it is worth a total of £375 million.
The financial boost comes at a time of year when the tourism industry is usually quiet, and the spending generates the equivalent of 430 Scottish jobs, according to RBS.
Home and away supporters spend around £9 million in bars and restaurants, £6 million on hotels and £3 million in shops, with further amounts spent on travel and tickets, the bank said.
The Scotland team are preparing for their first home match of the championship against England this weekend and also play France in Edinburgh on March 8.
The economic impact of the tournament was measured by ticket and hospitality prices, the number of visitors to Edinburgh and their average expenditure, and the money spent by businesses to increase supplies during match days.
TV audiences for the tournament have increased in the last decade, with Scotland’s home games attracting 19 million people in total last year.
The exposure of the competition attracts revenue from other sponsors, generating additional economic benefits, RBS said.
Stephen Boyle, head of economics at the bank, said: “The RBS 6 Nations is more than just a tournament with 15 games of rugby.
“The boost to the economy and the local businesses is very real, especially during what is usually a quiet time in the tourist season.”