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Rugby expected to bring plenty of visiting support

RBS Six Nations expected to boost tourism spend in Scotland

Date : 12/02/2015

The BT Murrayfield stadium in Edinburgh will this weekend (Sunday February 15) welcome visitors from Wales as the first home game of the RBS 6 Nations rugby tournament kicks off.

With two more home games against Italy on Saturday February 28 and Ireland on Saturday March 21, this year’s season is set to generate millions for tourism businesses.

An RBS report has revealed that visitors to Edinburgh for RBS 6 Nations’ matches last year generated £34 million in revenue for Scotland's economy, £21 million of which was for Edinburgh's economy alone.

More than £23 million comes from spending by visitors who attend the matches (in 2014 more than 600,000 people went through the turnstiles of BT Murrayfield) and their family and friends who accompany them on their visit. A further £11 million comes from the knock-on effects, such as spending in hotels, restaurants and bars - demonstrating that there is a real opportunity for tourism businesses to benefit from this event.

This year, tourism body VisitScotland expects a bumper year as record crowds are anticipated for the season and Scotland has established itself as a quality weekend break for rugby.

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland said: "Huge sporting events like this don't just provide entertainment, they represent a multimillion pound opportunity to boost jobs as well as deliver cultural and social benefits…sport really is accessible to all and the opportunities for businesses across the country are endless. From the taxi drivers and food vendors to the busy hotels, bars, shops, and restaurants, tourism is there at the heart of it all, inspiring visitors year on year.”

In 2013 domestic visitors attending/watching a sporting event spent 700,000 nights in Scotland, resulting in £59 million for the Scottish economy.

Linking to sport is a great way to attract visitors to your business, so whether it is showing the Six Nations, becoming the perfect base for a golf trip, or a great stopping point when sailing - there are plenty of handy tips to help you make the most of sport in the Tourism Intelligence Scotland Intelligence Guides.