The International Cycling Union (UCI) has revealed the results of a study showing that its major events – the World Championships in road, track, mountain bike and the mass participation Gran Fondo – generated a total economic boost of €60m (£53m/$66m) for their host regions in 2018.
The study, commissioned by the UCI and conducted by professional services firm EY, focused on four key drivers of economic impact – visitors, media and teams, event delivery and event engagement – to assess the value added to a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by an event, as well as the growth in the employment rate of the host city or region.
According to the report, the UCI’s flagship Road World Championships, held in the Innsbruck-Tyrol region of Austria, contributed up to €40m to the local economy, with 89 per cent of that impact being accounted for by the increase in visitors and tourists to the area driven by the event. The figure is equivalent to the creation of 720 new jobs over the course of the year.
The hotel industry was the biggest beneficiary. The 100,000 foreign visitors who came for the Championships spent an average of €74 per night on their hotel stays, part of an average total daily spend of €114.
The Track Cycling World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands; the Mountain Bike World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland; and the Gran Fondo World Championships in Varese, Italy were the other 2018 events that the study looked at, and all delivered multi-million euro boosts to the local economies.
Peter Arnold, a partner in EY’s UK economic advisory team, said that the study showed the potential of cycling events to “generate significant economic benefits to host regions”.
He added: “The broad appeal of these events and their ability to engage both local and international audiences can make them a great platform for host regions. By building connections with visitors and spectators, and by aligning these events with local economic and social policy goals, they can have a wide and enduring impact on a local area.”