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2021 PGA Tour tournament put $12m into economy

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Nearly $12 million was driven into the economy last year by the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, a report has revealed.

With this year’s tournament teeing off today at Port Royal Golf Course, the study found that the previous event attracted media exposure worth more than $13 million to the island.

Jamari Douglas, of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said: “The event was televised for a total of 50 hours of coverage on The Golf Channel, with just under two million viewers tuning in from around the United States.

“Globally, the event was broadcast in 215 countries and territories, with over 420 hours of live broadcast coverage showcasing Bermuda as a prime destination for sports tourism.

“The PGA Tour Butterfield Bermuda Championship successfully attracted media coverage and aided in raising Bermuda’s profile as a premier tourism destination.”

The report, by KPMG, stated: “Due to the cancellation of the World Golf Championships, originally set to take place in Shanghai, China, the Bermuda-based championship became the sole event on the 2021 PGA Tour calendar for that weekend, leading to more publicity for our shores.”

Tracy Berkeley, the interim chief executive of the BTA, said: “We are pleased that the tournament has demonstrated an uplift to our economy, contributed to the third sector, and elevated our visibility as a golf destination on the world stage.”

Danielle Baiunco, the tournament director for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, said the event boosted local business and the tourism image of the island.

She said: “Our aim since inception has been to boost Bermuda's economy, support locals in every sense of the meaning and bring attention to Bermuda as an idyllic vacation destination and a golfing paradise.

“We are pleased to continue to achieve this through our efforts to use local labour, vendors and talent wherever possible. As the event grows each year, we thoroughly enjoy watching the overall impact following suit.”

According to the study, the event had an estimated direct impact of $5.1 million. In addition, there was a $6.8 million impact on the economy through “indirect and induced effects”.

Fraser Hunt extricates himself from the sand with his second shot on the the par-three 16th at the 2021 Butterfield Bermuda Championship Local Qualifier (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The total benefit from the 2021 Butterfield Bermuda Championship, including the value of media exposure, was estimated to be $25.1 million in 2021 — a drop from the $28.8 million in 2020 — but an increase of $2.5 million from 2019 $22.6 million tally.

The event also supported more than 50 Bermuda-based charities and not-for-profit organisations, with the Butterfield Birdies for Charity Programme generating $646,729 in donations in 2021.

During the past three years, a total of $1.1 million has been donated to local charities owing to the Bermuda-held tournaments.

The Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on the event with spectator-day numbers falling from an estimated 10,660 in 2019 to 3,800 in 2020 and 1,850 in 2021.

The study reported that 129 golfers took part in the event; there were 391 caddies, crew, media personnel, vendors and corporate supporters involved; 12 per cent of spectators came from abroad.

The 2022 tournament is on from today until Sunday.

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Published October 27, 2022 at 7:51 am (Updated October 27, 2022 at 12:37 pm)

2021 PGA Tour tournament put $12m into economy

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