Madrid, (EFE).- The influence of major sporting events in the tourism sector and their growing impact on the economy took center stage this Thursday at the Tourism and Sports Forum, organized by EFE Sport Business, in partnership with Best Option Media.
Feliciano López, director of the Mutua Madrid Open, Javier Guillén, general manager of La Vuelta ciclista a España, Fede Segarra, director of communications at Damm, and Inmaculada Benito, director of the CEOE Department of Tourism and Sports agreed on the link between the two sectors, to generate 3.1 million trips in Spain for sporting reasons and an associated cost of 1,379 million euros.
The tennis player and director of the Madrid tournament presented the data of a study by the European University of Madrid, which estimates the impact of the same last year at 130.9 million euros, with an average expenditure of 644 euros for each spectator, and a average stay of 5.4 days for fans from abroad
«26% of the attendees were foreigners, 1 in 4, of 50 different nationalities and 35% from other regions of Spain. They are very interesting figures. In terms of tourism in the city, it is an important distinction because these people stay in Madrid, consume and go out,” he said.
In his opinion, this “positions the city” of Madrid at an international level, which has “understood that the tournament gives its incredible international visibility”.
“Next year we will have a tournament of almost 15 days for men and women and more people will visit us. The name Madrid is seen all over the world. When I go to a lot of cities, a lot of people tell me that they want to come and get to know the Spanish culture,” he added, after confirming that he will play some tournaments next season before retiring.
The general manager of La Vuelta, Javier Guillén, assured that for three weeks the Spanish tour “sells tourist wealth and territory to 400 million viewers” and “is present in 180 countries”, with an audience of some 400 million viewers at the end of the same.
«We have an advantage and that is that in addition to a great brand, we also show a product with beaches, monuments and landscapes. When La Vuelta announces that he is arriving in a new place, or just after he has passed, there is a niche of people who will meet him and try to do it by bike. It is an important tourist fabric thanks to the fact that La Vuelta appreciates it,” he emphasized.
Guillén stressed that “cycling has the ability to go from city to city” and “it is a pride that the Vuelta goes through your country”, while stressing that although the 2023 route is not closed, the round “from Spain would can leave”. “We want there to be an international touch,” he said.
Impact of sport on Spanish GDP
The director of the Tourism and Sports Department of the CEOE, Inmaculada Benito, spoke about the impact of sport on Spain’s GDP, “which is more than 39,000 million”, and the link between sporting events in the hotel industry, since “70% of the traveling on weekends for sports reasons goes to hotels».
“At the CEOE, we are working to recognize the work of the sports industry so that it takes its rightful place. There are destinations that remain open in the low and mid season thanks to the sport,” he says.
Fede Segarra, communications director of the Damm firm, sponsor of FC Barcelona and owner of the World Padel Tour, also spoke about the return that this alliance represents for a company with 146 years of history, which “wouldn’t be what it is today without sports » .
“Through our sponsorship, we invite 22,000 people to experience a sporting event. Of these, 40% do not live in this city. This generates economic activity for Spain. Sport has given us an extraordinary platform to promote our brand and associate it with the values of sport. 60 years ago, the company saw the opportunity to make itself known in sports,” he concluded.
Web Edition: Marina Gonzalez