Media Release 19 September 2005
Study estimates Lions supporters spent $21.7 million in Chch
A study of spending by overseas visitors to Christchurch for the first rugby test between the All Blacks and the British
and Irish Lions suggests the visiting team’s supporters may have put as much as $22 million into the city economy.
The work, by Rotorua-based consultancy APR, is based on 274 visitor interviews done for the Council in the days leading
up to and immediately after the 25 June match. The report notes, however, that estimates of the total direct spend by
the British and Irish visitors should be viewed cautiously because it is based upon a relatively small sample, with the
average multiplied by the population size of 10,650.
By comparing international visitor arrival information for the same period in 2004, APR believes the city was host to
10,650 people from Britain and Ireland who came to Christchurch because of the rugby. It says the total following the
tour to New Zealand was 15,150, but of those 4500 arrived after the Christchurch test match.
The Council has commissioned similar research for other sporting events and the Lions tour direct-spend estimate is by
far the largest of those studied (the next largest direct spends of events studied are $11.2m for the Fina World Masters
Swimming championships in 2002 and $3.4m for the World Wheelchair Games and ISOD World Athletics in 2003).
Estimates of typical event-related spending per person by those from Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland were $3010,
$2161, $1742, and $1280 respectively. To factor out spending on international airfares, half the respondents’ travel
spend was taken out of the calculations. APR notes the visitors spent more on beverages and food than on accommodation,
indicating “a high level of spending on alcoholic beverages”.
Using a standard multiplier formula (an estimate of the amount of additional economic activity generated by each dollar
spent) of 1.49, APR says the estimated $21.7m direct spend generated an economic impact of $32.3m and created the
equivalent of 290 full-time jobs.
Other findings from the survey include:
- Of those surveyed, most came from England (41 per cent), Wales (22%), Scotland (11%) and Ireland (8%)
- 73% of those surveyed were men; and most (72%) were aged from 20 and 39
- 70% stayed between three and five days in Christchurch
- 70% of survey respondents went to the match
- The most common form of accommodation used was hotel (26%), budget hotel/hostel (20%) and own home/friends/relatives
- The estimated average spend per supporter was $2168
Asked about the event, respondents were complimentary about the city, with many of the visitors saying they thought the
city was clean and that people were friendly.