Mountain Bike worlds worth $33.5 million to the economy

Defending men's XC champion Julien Absalon

Defending men's XC champion Julien Absalon (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

The UCI mountain bike and trials world championships, held in Rotorua in August, had an economic impact of NZ$33.5 million. Studies undertaken by Market Economics and Waiariki Institute of Technology show that the championships generated NZ$12.2 million in direct new money spent in Rotorua that would not have occurred otherwise. At a national level, an additional NZ$17.7 million was attributed to the UCI MTB World Champs. Once the flow on effects are assessed, the contribution to GDP rises to NZ$21.1 million nationally.

The Waiariki Institute study estimated that visitors to the World Championships spent NZ$2,712,533 per day in Rotorua, and this did not include the money by the competitors and those directly involved in the event.

"This is a great result," said event director, Arthur Klap. "The initial feasibility study, in 2001, estimated an economic impact around $9 million. It is a wonderful that the actual results have far exceeded this."

The worlds impact translated into sustaining the equivalent of 143 full-time workers for a year based on the money spent in Rotorua. Nationally, the spending correlated to sustaining the equivalent of 191 full time workers for a year. Again, factoring in flow effects, the numbers are more like 219 fulltime workers for a year in the region and 340 nationally.

Klap was delighted to learn that Rotorua benefited to such an extent and that there is likely to be a long term benefit from the event. "More importantly, there was a great atmosphere throughout the week and Rotorua was able to promote itself on the world stage as a premiere mountain biking destination. This will drive future tourist dollars to the region." Klap said.

The New Zealand Community Trust estimated that the worlds attracted 40,000 spectators over the six days, 538 riders from 36 countries, and 1,818 accredited visitors, including 246 media.

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