Last week a special report by the University of Gloucestershire shed light on the economic impact of the 4-day Cheltenham Festival which starts again today. The study, which was first conducted in 2016, finds that the event was worth an estimated £274 million to the local economy. This is a huge jump (no pun intended) on the 2016 figure when the Festival was estimated to be worth £100 million to the town.
From a sample of more than 4,000 racegoers, the key findings from the project, led by the University’s Finance in Society Research Institute (FSRI), were:
- The total economic impact (direct and indirect) of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival is estimated at £274 million – up from an estimate of around £100 million when the project was last undertaken in 2016.
- More than half of racegoers make a return trip to and from Cheltenham on the day they attend The Festival.
- Of those not making a return trip to the town, about a third of attendees arrive a day or more before The Festival and stay at least a day or more after the festival.
- The average expenditure of attendees at The Festival increased from £584 in 2016 to £697 in 2022.
- Attending The Festival was on the ‘bucket list of things to do’ for two-thirds of the participants (67%), and more than half (53%) of respondents ‘always or usually attend’ the Festival (source here).
1 in 3 attendees was from outside of the UK, and no doubt the vast majority of these came from Ireland. Follow-up studies are promised and it will be interesting to see how this research develops.