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.

A. Annex A - Expenditure Analysis

Event Visitors

The analysis of event visitor expenditure was undertaken at five geographical levels - Glasgow, Clyde Valley, Glasgow and the Clyde Valley, Rest of Scotland (excluding Glasgow and the Clyde Valley) and Scotland - and for three groups of event visitors (all event visitors, Scottish event visitors except those from Glasgow and Clyde Valley and all non-Scottish event visitors).

Further, the spend data were analysed for event visitors who attended the Games, people who attended Glasgow 2014 events, people who attended Festival 2014 and people who attended the Merchant City Festival. It is important to note that these three groups were not exclusive: thus event visitors interviewed as attendees at Glasgow 2014 events may (or may not) have also attended the Merchant City Festival.

Figure A.1 Volumes of Visitors Attending Glasgow 2014 and Festival 2014

Volumes of Visitors Attending Glasgow 2014 and Festival 2014

Note: Not to scale

Figure A.1 illustrates the overlap between event attendances. This overlap means that it is difficult to assess the exclusive impact of individual events. However, the issue of what were the dominant influences on visits will be considered below.

Table 2.1 in the main report provided data on the total spending in Scotland of all event visitors to Glasgow 2014 and Festival 2014 with the exclusion (as explained above) of spending on tickets to events. Total spending excluding tickets amounted to £176 million.

Tables analogous to Table 2.1 were produced for each of the three events, for all event visitors and for the three sub groups of event visitors (those attending Glasgow 2014 events, those attending Festival 2014 and those attending the Merchant City Festival). This means that there are a further 11 tables of that format. These additional tables are provided in full in Annex B.

Figure A.2 Expenditure by Event (£ million)

Expenditure by Event (£ million)

Source: Games Visitor Survey. Optimal Economic calculations.

Figure A.3 presents data on total expenditure, accommodation expenditure and non-accommodation expenditure by event attended. As explained above, these figures for different events cannot be added together as attendances overlapped.

Event visitors to Glasgow (and their spending) were shared between the events with most people attending both Glasgow 2014 and Festival 2014 events.

Figure A.4 analyses the distribution of spending across Scotland by event. Thus in all cases over 70% of spending was in Glasgow but people attending Glasgow 2014 events did spend proportionately slightly more outside Glasgow than did persons who identified themselves as attendees at other events. There thus seems to have been a "spin off" benefit to other parts of Scotland in spending terms, especially from Glasgow 2014 event visitors.

Figure A.3 Geographical Distribution of Expenditure by Event

Geographical Distribution of Expenditure by Event

Source: Games Visitor Survey. Calculations by Optimal Economics.

Expenditure was analysed by event visitor origin and event. The results for all expenditure and each event are shown in Annex B.

Figure A.4 Geographical Origin of Expenditure by Event (£million)

Geographical Origin of Expenditure by Event (£million)

Source: Games Visitor Survey. Calculations by Optimal Economics.

It is evident that the majority of spending was accounted for by non-Scottish event visitors (principally from other parts of the UK). While "non-Scottish" event visitors represented 32% of attendees, they accounted for 66% of non-accommodation and 95% of accommodation spend. The latter figure is, perhaps, unsurprising but the difference in non-accommodation spend reflects the fact that daily spend by non-Scottish event visitors (£76) was nearly double that of Scottish residents (£39).

Clyde-sider Volunteers

There were 12,467 persons who were 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.

The total estimated spend of Clyde-sider volunteers was estimated to be £5.6 million (including pre Games spend).There was clear evidence from the survey of volunteers that spending per person by volunteers from outside Scotland was higher than for Scottish volunteers. Thus it is estimated the volunteers from outside Scotland (25% of the total) accounted for 73% of spending. It is interesting to compare this with the event visitor spending: 68% of that spending was accounted for by the 32% of event visitors from outside Scotland with average daily spend by people from outside Scotland, most of whom stayed overnight, (£76) being almost twice that for the mainly Scottish day visitors (£39). The differential levels of Clyde-sider spend have been allowed for in the impact calculations. The allocation of spend by volunteer origin has no effect on the overall estimate of spending but is does bear on the displacement assumption.

An analysis of expenditure by type was undertaken. Respondents were asked to indicate their total spend over the course of the events and spend by category. A comparison of the results from these two questions indicates the inaccuracies created by using a range rather than a figure for spending. Thus the answer to the question on total event time spend gave a mean figure of £280 as reported above while the total of the expenditure by items was 66% higher at £500. For the purposes of analysis we have used the total from the total spend question and applied the shares of spend on items derived from the question on spend by type. We consider that volunteers are likely to have a better recollection of total spend, a common topic of discussion among volunteers at major events, than of individual items.

Figure A.5 Pattern of Volunteer Event Time Expenditure and Visitor Expenditure (% of Total)

Pattern of Volunteer Event Time Expenditure and Visitor Expenditure

Source: Games Visitor Survey. Clyde-sider Volunteer Survey. Calculations by Optimal Economics.

Figure A.5 shows the distribution of spend by volunteers and compares it with event visitors. The spending patterns are broadly similar save that volunteers spent less on accommodation and more on fuel.

An analysis of spending by non-Scottish volunteers showed that spending on accommodation amounted to 51% of the spending by that group.

The expenditure data from the volunteers' survey has not been used in the input-output modelling as it was insufficiently detailed at the level of specific items. In the light of the evidence discussed above, it has assumed that the sectoral distribution of volunteer spend was equivalent to that of event visitors.


No data are available on expenditure by media personnel and estimates of the number of media personnel attending and additional days spent in Glasgow and/or Scotland can only be approximate.

To estimate the number of media personnel attending broadcast media and other media are considered in turn.

Considering first the broadcast media, there were just over 3,182 accredited media personnel. The UK broadcasting rights for the Games were in the hands of the BBC with the TV and video pictures supplied by Sunset + Vine Global Television Host Broadcaster Limited (SVGTV), a joint venture of Sunset+Vine and Global Television, as "Host Broadcaster". The BBC has stated that it had 609 personnel accredited to Glasgow 2014 and it is estimated that about one third of the BBC personnel were Scottish based (mainly Glasgow). The Host Broadcaster, through the Host Broadcaster Training Initiative (HBTI), created over 208 posts for Scottish students during the Games. Furthermore, there will have been some other employment of Scottish based staff. Taking these considerations together, it is estimated that around 2,500 broadcast media personnel will have been from outside Scotland with the Scottish personnel mainly Glasgow based.

So far as other media personnel are concerned, it was noted above that the total footfall at the Destination Media Hub was just over 1,100 (1,127). The origin of these journalists is not known. We begin by assuming that at most 8% of UK journalists will be Scottish based (reflecting the distribution of population and economic activity). Thus if all of the journalists were from the UK over 90% would be from outside Scotland. Allowing for the presence of non UK journalists we take 95% as a conservative estimate of the proportion of non-Scottish journalists.

The above figures may be summarised as follows:

  • Broadcast Media Personnel - 3,000 of whom 500 assumed to be Scottish based and 2,500 from outside Scotland
  • Print journalists - 1,127 of whom 5% (56) Scottish based and 1,071 from outside Scotland
  • Total media personnel - 4,127 of whom 3,571 from outside Scotland.

We have no data on expenditure by journalists but it is likely to be close to that of non-Scottish Glasgow 2014 event visitors. Daily mean spend by non-Scottish (overnight) visitors was £75. A study of the 2012 London Olympics[20] found that daily spend by journalists at that event was £110 for UK based journalists. That study also found that of UK journalism "days" at the event 90% were accounted for by London based media.

We may expect that costs in London would be higher than in Glasgow so that a figure between that for visitors and the London average would be appropriate. We assume, therefore, that the daily spend of media personnel was £90. The Games lasted for 11 days and while not all journalists would attend the whole event some would arrive early. Thus we assume the number of journalist days to be the number of journalists (and broadcasters) multiplied by 11.

The above figures imply in total £4.1 million of spending by 4,127 journalists of which £3.5 million would be by the 3,571 from outside Scotland.


Email: Duncan Whitehead

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