Few RWC gains for businesses

2011-12-21 18:40
Rugby World Cup (File)

Wellington - The 2011 Rugby World Cup may have been considered a success in New Zealand's largest city Auckland but it held few benefits for businesses, a city council report released on Wednesday said.

An evaluation of the impact of the World Cup in Auckland, which hosted nearly a third of the games including the opening and the final, showed that despite an influx of 100 000 visitors the spin-offs were not evenly spread.

Fewer than 10 per cent of Auckland businesses believed the event, held over six weeks in September and October, had benefited them, according to the report.

"With 107 000 additional visitors in Auckland over the period, the low reporting of positive effects by business may be a reflection of an uneven spread of benefits," it said.

Auckland Council Chief Executive Doug McKay said the economic benefits were always going to be important and there were areas where there were opportunities for improvement.

"The report shows a number of Auckland businesses don't believe they have benefited directly from RWC 2011 and it suggests that is because benefits have not been spread evenly," he said.

"We need to understand better - the learning's here for next time."

McKay said the report did not include full economic impacts and other financial data which was not scheduled for release until next April.

"We know there were more than 100 000 visitors to Auckland during the tournament, and they were all spending money, so we look forward to the data that will tell us what the spend was and where it was directed," he said.

The World Cup had a chaotic opening which saw thousands of people stranded on trains and the party central zone in downtown Auckland overcrowded, but the report concluded that overall the event was a success.

"What this report tells us is that there are plenty of successes the city should be proud of, but it is by taking heed of the lessons and the recommendations that we will become a stronger events destination," McKay said.

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