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New study findings

Carnoustie Open drives £120m into Scottish economy


A venue record of 172,000 fans attended The 147th Open at Carnoustie (pic: The R&A/Getty Images)


The 147th Open at Carnoustie generated a £120 million benefit to Scotland, according to an independent study revealed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today.

The tournament, won by Italy’s Francesco Molinari (pictured) attracted a record 172,000 fans in July this year and delivered an economic impact of £69m according to the study by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre.

Scotland also benefited from £51m in destination marketing activity thanks to The Open being broadcast on television to more than 600 million households in 193 countries worldwide.

The study, commissioned by golf’s governing body The R&A, VisitScotland and Angus Council, also concluded the Angus area alone received a £21m injection of new money.

Almost half of the spectators (49.8%) who attended The Open travelled from outwith Scotland, while the overwhelming majority of Scottish fans (84.8%) came from outside Angus.

The research found 62% of non-Angus residents indicated they would return to the region for a break within 12 months.

The tournament was being played at Carnoustie for the first time since 2007 and the attendance surpassed the 157,000 total set in 1999.

The First Minister said: “The figures released today demonstrate the economic benefits of hosting major events and I’m pleased The 147th Open generated significant income for both the local Angus area and for the wider Scottish economy.

“We look forward to bringing The Open back to Scotland in 2021 when it returns to St Andrews, and of course we will welcome the world to Gleneagles next September for the Solheim Cup.”

A key aim of The R&A is to attract a younger audience to the Championship and more than 20,000 spectators under the age of 25 attended this year.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, said: “The Open has a proven track record of generating substantial economic benefit for the host country in which it is staged thanks to the tens of thousands of spectators who attend each year.

“The return of The Open to Carnoustie has been a great success. We enjoyed a memorable week in which we welcomed a record number of fans to one of golf’s great championship venues.”

Cllr David Fairweather, leader of Angus Council, added: “£21 million of new money into the local economy is great news for Angus, its people, hotels, B&Bs, shops and restaurants.”

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