World Triathlon Bermuda is a $14m winner
Bermuda will generate a total of $14 million from MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda this year.
Financial services firm PwC said the island’s economy received a $4.7 million boost from the April event and it predicted another $9.3 million will come from future tourism.
The figure is $300,000 more than the $4.4 million generated by the first ITU triathlon event Bermuda hosted in 2018.
Kevin Dallas, the chief executive of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said: “For the second year in a row, we cheer the positive economic impact of WTS Bermuda, along with the tremendous legacy value the series continues to deliver.
“Future estimated visitor spending sparked by this year’s event alone is substantial.”
The BTA, which commissioned the PwC study, said the 2019 event cost less to stage than the 2018 competition and also attracted more athletes.
The study found this year’s event generated a 204 per cent return on the Bermuda Government’s $2.3 million investment.
The total cost of the 2019 triathlon was $2.8 million — 18 per cent lower than last year — with about $600,000 contributed by sponsors and registration fees.
The report said half of the $2.8 million was spent on-island and the rest was spent “mainly” on ITU World Triathlon Series venue fees and capital assets, which will be used for future events.
The event attracted 613 athletes with overseas and local competitors in the amateur and elite categories.
Mr Dallas said the triathlon brought long-term advantages such as community engagement, infrastructure, youth participation and accessibility, as well as an “immense boost to Bermuda’s profile as a world-class venue to host other major sporting events”.
He added: “That’s a powerful legacy and we thank everyone who made it possible, from volunteers to local businesses, spectators and athletes.”
The study found that 1,378 people travelled to the island for this year’s triathlon, including 352 overseas participants, 933 spectators, 45 organisers and 48 media representatives.
Overseas spectators contributed $1.6 million, and overseas participants $600,000.
The participants, who came from the US, Canada, Britain and Switzerland, stayed on the island for an average of almost six days and spent an average of $250 per day each.
The BTA also highlighted that the event was watched by more than one million TV viewers in 13 countries and generated $8.3 million in media exposure.
However, the report said TV exposure figures were significantly down on 2017, which generated an estimated $17.8 million in media exposure.
The PwC report said: “The reason for this is due to broadcasting time, where there was twice as long broadcasting time on TV for the event in 2018 compared with 2019.”
A total of 73 per cent of competitors said they were satisfied with the organisation of the race.
Zane DeSilva, the tourism minister, said: “By all accounts, the World Triathlon Series ... was a resounding success.
“The event and racecourse provided the ultimate stage for elite triathletes to test their mettle.
“It also gave us the perfect opportunity to showcase the best of Bermuda and strengthen our position as the pre-eminent destination for leisure and sports tourism in the world.”
Steven Petty, the Bermuda Triathlon Association president, said: “It’s encouraging to receive the positive impact study results for this year’s event, further strengthening the WTS relationship with Bermuda.
“We recognise the massive contribution by all local volunteers and our organising committee and look forward to building on the success of this event.”
Bermuda will host another ITU World Triathlon Series next year and the Grand Final in 2021.
The BTA said in 2016 that the ITU World Triathlon Series event could attract as many as 1,200 competitors per year, including 150 elite athletes, and that the Grand Final could bring as many as 3,000 competitors.
The next WTS event staged in Bermuda will be on April 18, 2020.
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