The direct expenditure associated with last year’s Super Rugby game attendees in Fiji and event operations hit an impressive FJD$67.1 million.
This is according to a comprehensive case study conducted by Tourism Fiji in collaboration with the Market Development Facility and consultant Barry Burgan.
While launching the report in Nadi, Tourism Fiji CEO Brent Hill says the study not only highlights a substantial economic boost, but more than 200 people found employment opportunities stemming from the success of the event.
Hill further highlights that of the 58,942 attendees during the Drua games in Fiji last year, 21% were international visitors, injecting a pulse of vitality into the local economy.
“So attending a game led to an 84% increase in spectators extending their stay, resulting in 4,767 tourists and the creation of 40,000 tourism room nights. So that is really, really significant when you look at that, in the sense that people came to Fiji to watch a Drua game.”
Hill underlines the pivotal role of sports tourism, not merely as an economic driver but as a catalyst for diversification and extended tourism benefits.
He says this isn’t just a game; it’s a strategy for the nation’s economic playbook.
According to the Tourism Fiji boss, these data are critical as they can show the government what the actual numbers are and the impact on visitors coming to Fiji.
Drua CEO Mark Evans says the team’s triumphs in the 2023 season are a living testament to the untapped potential of sports tourism, not just for economic growth but for societal advancement.
“Sports tourism sounds like a really good idea, but it’s not until you get things like this that people like me and people like Brent can actually say, look we did say that this would happen and here are the numbers to demonstrate it.”
The study also highlights the invaluable impact of international visitors, who, on average, spent FJD$6,837 during their stay, contributing to a total expenditure of FJD$40 million.