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2019 Rugby World Cup delivers record £4.3bn economic impact

The 2019 Rugby World Cup has been deemed the most economically successful Rugby World Cup ever after generating almost £4.3 billion (US$5.35 billion) economic output, according to the latest report published by EY.

Rugby’s pinnacle competition in 2019 was the first to be held in the continent of Asia and ran across 44 days in 12 different cities, adding a total of £2.3 billion (US$2.86 billion) to Japan’s GDP.

The report states how the Rugby World Cup had an enhanced experience for consumers attending the event in Japan by spending money on improving the stadiums and relevant infrastructure, which worked in conjunction with local and international spectators spending money at stadiums, fanzones, the cities in which games were being held and other tourist locations that are in Japan.

Overall, the report found that around 242,000 international fans from 178 different countries visited the host nation with an average stay on 17 days. It also found that 60 per cent of these fans were visiting the country for the first time with a daily spend 4.6 times higher than what an average tourist to Japan spent in 2018.

The spending from international visitors made up 54 per cent of the overall economic spill over, with spending from spectators accumulating to £2.59 billion (US$3.22 billion). The tournament also saw Japan break the record of 99 per cent of tickets sold. This excludes the three games that had to be cancelled as a result of the typhoon. During the tournament, 46,000 jobs were created or sustained and there were 13,000 volunteers at the event too.

Videos produced for the Rugby World Cup or any relating to it were viewed 2.04 billion times across social media, more than five times the figure that England saw in the Rugby World Cup 2015.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont expressed his delight at the record-breaking numbers that Rugby World Cup in 2019 produced.

“The outcomes of this comprehensive EY report reaffirm Japan 2019’s status as one of the great Rugby World Cups on and off the field. It is also good news for France 2023 and interested nations and unions wishing to host in the future.

“It reflects Rugby World Cup’s status as one of the best-loved and most prestigious major sports events to host, while highlighting the significant social and economic benefits that make the tournament such an attractive low-risk, high return on investment hosting proposition for governments and unions alike.”

President Shigetaka Mori of the Japan Rugby Football Union was also pleased with the economic results of the tournament and hopes that this will serve to improve Japan’s chances of hosting Rugby World Cup events in the future.

“I would like to express my most sincere appreciation to everyone involved in the success of Rugby World Cup 2019,” started President Mori.

“I am forever grateful that the Rugby World Cup was held in Japan, resulting in the increasing popularity of the game and more people than ever becoming familiar with the beauty of our beloved sport.

“With enthusiastic cheers from all over Japan, the Japan national team made history by powering their way to the quarter finals, the highest Rugby World Cup finish they have ever achieved.

“We are determined to make sure that the valuable legacy left by this immeasurably successful tournament will live on, and we will continue to strive to make rugby a well-loved national sport in our country. If the opportunity arose again, we would be eager to demonstrate our intention to bid for future Rugby World Cups and make the Japan national team the world’s best team.”

Author: Jake Wilkin