This year’s MS Amlin World Triathlon Series (WTS) event in Bermuda generated an estimated $4.7 million for the island’s economy, along with another $9.3 million in projected future tourism, according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
The April 28 event—one of three annual International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon Series races secured by Bermuda through 2020, followed by the Grand Final in 2021—contributed $300,000 more to the island’s gross domestic product (GDP) than last year’s inaugural event, according to PwC. The 2019 edition also cost less to produce and attracted more participating athletes.
The study, conducted for the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA), analysed the economic impact of WTS Bermuda 2019 and found the event generated a 204-percent return on the Bermuda government’s $2.3-million investment this year. Total cost of hosting the 2019 triathlon was $2.8 million, 18 percent lower than last year, with approximately $600,000 contributed by sponsors and registration fees. The event attracted 613 athletes, an increase of three percent on last year, comprising overseas and local competitors in both amateur (516) and elite (97) categories.
“For the second year in a row, we cheer the positive economic impact of WTS Bermuda, along with the tremendous legacy value the series continues to deliver,” said BTA CEO Kevin Dallas. “Future estimated visitor spending sparked by this year’s event alone is substantial. It’s also worth noting the diversity of the triathlon’s long-term merit, which ranges from community engagement and infrastructure, to youth participation, accessibility and the immense boost to Bermuda’s profile as a world-class venue to host other major sporting events. That’s a powerful legacy, and we thank everyone who made it possible, from volunteers to local businesses, spectators and athletes.”
Some 1,378 people travelled to the island for this year’s triathlon, the study found, including 352 overseas participants, 933 spectators, 45 organisers and 48 media representatives. Overseas spectators contributed $1.6 million, and overseas participants $600,000, to GDP. With participants from the US (64 percent), Canada (19 percent), the UK (13 percent), Switzerland (three percent), other countries (one percent) staying on the island nearly six days on average, the report estimated average spend per visitor per day was $250.
Among other highlights, the PwC report found:
- A million television viewers saw the event via broadcasts in 13 countries
- A total of 2,214 social-media posts reached 14-million fans in 54 nations
- Media exposure from the event was valued at $8.3 million
- The largest overall impact was expected on hotels and restaurants
- More than 550 volunteers helped in the event
- 73 percent of both Bermuda resident and overseas participants were satisfied with the event
“By all accounts, the World Triathlon Series held April 2019 was a resounding success,” said Bermuda’s Minister of Tourism Zane DeSilva. “The event and race course provided the ultimate stage for elite triathletes to test their mettle. It also gave us the perfect opportunity to showcase the best of Bermuda and strengthen our position as the preeminent destination for leisure and sports tourism in the world. I thank all those who participated in the event, and I look forward to the challenge of improving the experience for next year.”
The BTA is the parent of WTSBDA, established to host the World Triathlon Series events in cooperation with the ITU and the Bermuda Triathlon Association. Each year, there are eight rounds of competitions in different nations, culminating with a Grand Final, and athletes compete for championship points. Races are held over the standard (Olympic) distance of 1,500-metre open-water swim, 40-kilometre cycle, and 10-kilometre run.
“It’s encouraging to receive the positive impact study results for this year’s event, further strengthening the WTS relationship with Bermuda,” said Bermuda Triathlon Association President Steven Petty. “We recognise the massive contribution by all local volunteers and our organising committee and look forward to building on the success of this event.”
The next WTS event will be staged in Bermuda April 18, 2020.
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