Rugby World Cup 2015: An opportunity for the North West’s hospitality sector
The rugby world cup takes place in September and October 2015 with 48 fixtures taking place in venues all across the country with games in the North of England taking place in Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.
It is estimated that the competition will generate around £2.1bn for the British economy much of which will be spent on accommodation, food and beverages by national and international visitors.
Whilst the venues for the games are not in Lancashire or Cumbria they do fall within a 2 hour journey time from our region, which is widely recognised as the geographical area from which a large percentage of the visitors to our area travel, so the competition does appear to offer an opportunity for the region.
Many overseas visitors will use the trip as an opportunity to see some of the sights in the United Kingdom including the Lake District is often a destination which benefits from this type of “once in a lifetime” tourist. Interestingly research has shown that rugby has a higher concentration of supporters in the upper socio-economic groups so the spending power of visitors following the event may be considerable.
To take full advantage of this opportunity the region needs to work collectively to attract visitors to visit the area as part of their visitor experience and this campaign may need to be co-ordinated by the local tourism organisations. Individually, business owners need to look how they can align their offering with the competition and how they can raise their profile to domestic and international visitors.