An independent study has revealed that The Open generated £140 million of economic benefit for Scotland in 2015 – the highest figure ever achieved by a golf event in the UK or Ireland.
The economic impact assessment, which was commissioned by The R&A, found that visitor spending generated £88 million – nearly double the £47.5 million achieved in 2010 when the event was last held at the Old Course.
Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre, which carried out the research, estimates that Fife has benefitted to the tune of around £52 million and that a ‘St Andrew’s effect’ has seen visitor numbers exceed all previous years.
Other key findings from the study include:
Total spectator admissions over the course of the championship (including practice days and Championship days) were 237,024, with 93,000 unique spectators.
There were 26,400 spectators from overseas – 28 per cent of the total, compared to 20 per cent in 2010.
More than three quarters of overseas spectators were attending the Open for the first time in 2015. The corresponding figures for the two previous events held at St Andrews in 2010 and 2005 were 65 per cent and 62 per cent respectively.
More than two thirds of the total visitors and 80 per cent of visitors from the UK said they expect to return to Scotland within one year thanks to the positive experience they had.