Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2005   
   Page tools: Print Print Page RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

Rugby World Cup 2003 - the short-term impact on the Australia economy


This article re-presents findings of a report of the private sector consultancy firm URS Finance and Economics, produced for the Australian Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources (June 2004).

Overview

The Rugby World Cup (RWC) was held in Australia from 10 October to 22 November 2003. The tournament has been described as the largest international sporting event of 2003 and the largest sporting event to be held in Australia since the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The tournament was the fifth RWC and the second staged in Australia.

In the tournament 20 teams competed in a total of 48 matches including 40 pool matches and eight finals. These matches were spread across 11 venues in 10 cities around Australia.

Based on the data collected from various key RWC stakeholders, the key short-term economic impact results indicate that:

  • 1.8 million spectators attended matches.
  • 65,000 international visitors visited Australia primarily as a result of the RWC.
  • Nearly $200m in ticket sales were generated.
  • $494m in additional industry sales were generated, particularly in trade and hotels, finance and business services and recreational services industries. New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland gained the majority of RWC industry sales.
  • Almost 4,500 additional full and part-time jobs were created, primarily in trade and hotels, finance and business services and recreational services industries. New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland also gained the majority share of these short-term full and part-time jobs.
  • $55m in additional Commonwealth government revenue was provided (before grants paid to state governments).
  • $289m in additional gross domestic product was contributed to the Australian economy with New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland gaining the majority of this additional economic activity.

International visitors and expenditure

Number of visitors

As a result of Australia hosting the RWC, it was estimated that 65,000 international visitors visited Australia. This number was estimated to consist of 60,000 rugby supporters, 2,500 media personnel and 2,500 corporate visitors - predominantly business executives employed by global RWC commercial partners/sponsors.

A number of visitors associated with the RWC teams and international rugby organisations also came to the event. Based on Australian Rugby Union (ARU) information these include:
  • players and associated staff totalling almost 800 persons (42 per team with the Australian team excluded);
  • match officials totalling 25 from overseas; and
  • VIP overseas rugby guests totalling 250.

The ARU indicated that the majority of international visitors were from the United Kingdom and Europe. Table 21.24 provides a break down of international rugby tour visitors, media and corporate visitors. In terms of the corporate visitors, the ARU was of the view that the majority of these would be from the United Kingdom/Europe through the RWC commercial partners/sponsors.


21.24 INTERNATIONAL VISITORS, By origin

RegionKey countries
Rugby supporters
Media
Corporate
Total

United Kingdom/EuropeEngland, Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy and Wales
28,200
1,094
2,500
31,794
New Zealand/Asia Pacific(a)New Zealand, Japan, Fiji, Tonga, Hong Kong and Singapore
18,600
813
-
19,413
AfricaSouth Africa and Namibia
10,200
438
-
10,638
AmericasCanada , USA and Argentina
3,000
155
-
3,155
Total
(b)60,000
2,500
2,500
65,000

(a) Based on information provided by the Qantas and the ARU, visitors from New Zealand/Asia Pacific were estimated at approximately 15,000 and visitors from Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore 4,413.
(b) Of the 60,000 rugby supporters, it was assumed that approximately 40,000 of these travelled to Australia via 'RWC packages' while the remaining 20,000 were able to obtain tickets from family and friends in Australia and to a lesser extent obtain flights and RWC tickets only.

Source: URS Finance and Economics 2004.


Expenditure of international visitors

Table 21.25 shows the average international expenditure data on a per trip basis including airfares and expenditure while in Australia by region. Visitors from United Kingdom/Europe were estimated to have the highest expenditure and the longest average length of stay of all visitors at $8,302 and 36 nights. Next highest were visitors from the Americas spending on average $6,741, Africa $6,260 and New Zealand/Asia Pacific $3,153. This provided for a total trip expenditure for all visitors of $400.4m.

Major spending items of international visitors tended to be accommodation, food and drink along with airfares, packaged tours and retail shopping.


21.25 AVERAGE TRIP EXPENDITURE BY INTERNATIONAL VISITORS(a)

Total visitors
Average expenditure per visit 2003
Average length of stay
Average total daily expenditure
Total trip expenditure
Region
no.
$
nights
$
$m

United Kingdom/Europe
31,794
8,302
36
230
256.1
New Zealand/Asia Pacific
19,413
3,153
15
210
59.2
Africa
10,638
6,260
24
260
64.5
Americas
3,155
6,741
22
306
20.6
Total
65,000
. .
. .
. .
400.4

(a) URS has incorporated the assumption of some international visitors reducing expenditure in relation to visitors staying with family and friends totalling $12.2m. In addition, URS has also assumed a BTR average length of stay to calculate total average trip expenditure.

Source: URS Finance and Economics 2004.

Interstate visitors and expenditure

New South Wales received the most interstate visitors (49,948) followed by Victoria (43,284), Queensland (42,153) and Australian Capital Territory (25,760). Ticket purchases for interstate visitors were predominantly for games in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria (66,916, 64,316 and 61,271 respectively), where the majority of preliminary games and the finals were played (table 21.26).

Interstate visitor expenditure in New South Wales was estimated at $47.8m, followed by Victoria ($41.4m), Queensland ($28.4m), Western Australia ($12.8m), South Australia ($7.5m), Australian Capital Territory ($3.8m) and Tasmania ($1m). Average expenditure per visit was also the greatest in New South Wales ($1,015) followed by South Australia ($1,007) and Victoria ($1,005).

For interstate visits the key items of expenditure were accommodation, food and drink.


21.26 INTERSTATE TICKET PURCHASES, VISITORS AND EXPENDITURE

Tickets purchased(a)
Interstate visitors(b)
Average expenditure
per visit(c)
Interstate visitor expenditure
Game location
no.
no.
$
$'000

New South Wales
66,916
49,948
1,015
47,785
Victoria
61,271
43,284
1,005
41,439
Queensland
64,216
42,153
705
28,352
South Australia
14,797
7,789
1,007
7,483
Western Australia
19,856
9,261
1,446
12,789
Tasmania
1,535
1,535
698
1,014
Australian Capital Territory
27,218
25,760
566
3,764
Total
255,808
179,730
-
142,625

(a) To remove domestic ticket purchases made for international visitors an estimate provided by an ARU survey of approximately 9% was deducted.
(b) Number of visitors was calculated using the number of tickets and adjusting it for 'double headers' where people attended a number of games in the same weekend.
(c) NSW people attending RWC matches in the ACT were assumed to spend $188 per trip.

Source: URS Finance and Economics 2004.


Impact on industry, employment and government finances

An additional $494m was generated in industry sales by the RWC, particularly in the trade and hotels industry, finance and business services and recreational services. New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland gained the majority of RWC industry sales ($411m, $48m and $22m respectively). Tasmania and Northern Territory were adversely affected, declining $5m and $2m respectively (table 21.27).

The RWC created an additional 4,500 short-term full and part-time positions mainly in the trade and hotels industry, finance and business services and recreational services. New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland benefited most from the RWC with 3,595, 428 and 303 jobs respectively being created.

The RWC provided an additional $55m to Commonwealth revenue before Commonwealth grants were paid to the State governments. The New South Wales government received the highest additional revenue of $19m including grants paid by the Australian (Commonwealth) Government and had the greatest expenditure at $34m. In aggregate, the states' budgetary position was estimated to have worsened by $14m (total revenue minus total expenditure).


21.27 ESTIMATED IMPACT ON INDUSTRY SALES, EMPLOYMENT AND GOVERNMENT FINANCES

Government finances

Impact on industry sales
Employment(a)
Revenue(b)
Expenditure(c)
State/Government
$m
no.
$m
$m

New South Wales
411
3,595
19
34
Victoria
48
428
8
7
Queensland
22
303
6
8
South Australia
-
27
3
1
Western Australia
4
65
3
2
Tasmania
-5
-46
1
-
Northern Territory
-2
-16
1
-
Australian Capital Territory
16
121
-
3
Commonwealth Government
-
-
55
(b)55
Total
494
4,476
96
110

(a) Estimates of employment are in terms of full and part time jobs and should be treated with some caution.
(b) Includes Commonwealth grants to the states.
(c) Includes state subsidies paid to RWC.

Source: URS Finance and Economics 2004.


References

Australian Rugby Union, <http://www.rugby.com.au>.

Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, <http://www.industry.gov.au>.

Tourism Research Australia, <http://www.tra.australia.com> formerly Bureau of Tourism Research (BTR).

URS Finance and Economics, Economic Impact of the Rugby World Cup 2003 on the Australian Economy - Post Analysis, prepared for the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, June 2004.

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.