XX Commonwealth Games Visitor Study: Economic Impact Report

This report estimates the economic impact of visitors (including volunteers and associated media) to the XX Commonwealth Games.

2. Visitor Expenditure


2.1 This report is concerned with the spending of three groups of visitors: event visitors, Clyde-sider volunteers and media. Together, these three groups are termed "all visitor groups". This section of the report provides details of their expenditure.

Event Visitors

2.2 An estimated 690,000 unique visitors were in this group, including children under 16. This group comprised people who attended events in the overall programme of the Games between 23 July and 3 August. A survey of this group, the Games Visitor Survey, undertaken by TNS showed these visitors spent a total of 2.9 million visitor days in Scotland including days spent attending Games events and on extended stays in Scotland.

2.3 Analysis of the Games Visitor Survey results show that average spend per day amongst this group, excluding expenditure on tickets, was £52.

2.4 However, expenditure varied significantly by visitor type. Average spend per visitor per day (excluding expenditure on tickets) was estimated as follows:

  • Day trippers (excluding ticket spend) - £39
  • Overnight visitors (excluding tickets and including accommodation) - £76

2.5 Taking account of varying expenditure levels by day trippers and overnight visitors, the estimated expenditure by event visitors (excluding tickets) was £176 million.

2.6 Expenditure on tickets is not included in the analysis presented in this report. This is because ticket expenditure formed part of the income to Glasgow 2014 Ltd and is included in the analysis of economic impact of the expenditures and activities of Games organisers[9], as is in a large part the spending by athletes, officials and contractors.

2.7 The key expenditure information is summarised in Table 2.1and full details of the expenditure data are provided in Annex A.

2.8 Some interesting points arise immediately from Table 2.1:

  • By far the largest element of spending was food and drink (consumed either "on premises" or "take away") which accounted for almost exactly 50% of spending.
  • Accommodation was the second largest single item, accounting for 16% of spend though only a minority of visitors (37%) had overnight stays.
  • The greater part of spending (77%) was in Glasgow and the Clyde Valley but just over half of accommodation spend was outside Glasgow and the Clyde Valley. This distribution of spending across Scotland resulted from the fact that many visitors from outside Scotland combined a visit to the Games with a holiday stay in other parts of Scotland. In total about 34% of bed nights were spent outside Glasgow and the Clyde Valley and average accommodation spend per night was higher in those areas than in Glasgow and the Clyde Valley.
  • A large part of the spending in the Clyde Valley (39%) was on accommodation reflecting the limited "event" activity in the Clyde Valley but also its role as a location for accommodation.

Table 2.1. Expenditure by Event Visitors Attending Games by Location of Spending (£million)

Item Glasgow Clyde Valley Glasgow and Clyde Valley Rest of Scotland All Scotland
Food and drink in bars, restaurants etc. £51.07 £2.26 £53.34 £10.85 £64.18
Food and drink bought to take away £19.12 £0.83 £19.95 £3.93 £23.89
Travel Fares £12.10 £0.51 £12.62 £2.42 £15.04
Fuel £4.39 £0.19 £4.58 £0.93 £5.51
Parking £0.74 £0.03 £0.78 £0.16 £0.94
Merchandise/ programmes[10] £16.21 £0.73 £16.94 £3.49 £20.43
Retail purchases £ 12.42 £0.54 £12.96 £2.53 £15.49
Other spend £1.42 £0.07 £1.50 £0.37 £1.87
Accommodation £9.50 £3.27 £12.78 £15.74 £28.51
TOTAL £126.99 £8.44 £135.43 £40.43 £175.86

2.9 As a broad generalisation one could say that the expenditure of Games event visitors largely comprised accommodation and subsistence, travel costs and an element of retail purchases (half of which was specifically "Glasgow 2014 related" items such as Games merchandise and programmes).

Volunteers and Media

2.10 There were 12,467 persons who were Games volunteers (Clyde-siders) during Glasgow 2014. Of these 26% were from outside Scotland, 40% from Glasgow and the Clyde Valley and 34% from other parts of Scotland.

2.11 A survey of Clyde-siders by Glasgow Centre for Population Health collected expenditure data from 1,811 survey respondents. Unlike the survey of event visitors which recorded the actual amount spent, the Clyde-sider volunteer survey respondents stated their estimated expenditure during the recruitment and training period and during the Games period within pre-coded "bands" e.g. £50 - £90. In order to arrive at an estimate of the Clyde-sider expenditure, the mid-point value of the selected band has been used. For those selecting the top (open ended) band of £1,000 or above, a value of £1,500 has been ascribed.

2.12 Using this approach, estimated average spend per survey respondent was £166 per person during the recruitment and training phase and £280 per person during Games-time. Applying these average values to the population of 12,467 Clyde-siders implies total training and recruitment phase spending of £2.1 million and £3.5 million spend by volunteers during the Games. Thus, total estimated volunteer spend was £5.6 million. Further details are provided in Annex A.

2.13 Details of the estimation of spend by visiting media personnel are provided in Annex A. It was estimated that there was £4.1 million of spending by journalists of which £3.5 million would be from outside Scotland.


Email: Duncan Whitehead

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