28-31 August 2014

Tall Ships deliver a multi-million pound economic boost

The Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta 2014 provided an economic boost to the tune of £20.9 million in associated spend, with £10.5 million directly attributable to the event, says impact report.

Over four days from 28 to 31 August the applauded event which is a finalist in the Large Event of the Year category in the UK Event Awards 2014, saw 197,000 people pour into the Falmouth area and increase the turnover of local businesses by an average £10,000. The welcome influx in customers during the Regatta led 40% of businesses to extend their opening hours while almost half increased staff levels. Overall the regatta returned a healthy £25.89 of additional money into the Cornwall economy for every pound invested.

The impact study was commissioned by the main delivery partner of the event, Visit Cornwall, and was conducted by The South West Research Company Ltd to evaluate the value of the event for Falmouth and wider Cornwall. Financially supported by the Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) the survey is based on the results of over 1300 on-site, face-to-face surveys with attendees to the regatta, a post-event online survey amongst regatta attendees and an online survey amongst local businesses based in Falmouth.

And the report highlights that the event didn’t just make businesses smile. The Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta 2014 was the main reason for choosing to visit Cornwall for 66% of visitors and with satisfaction levels at an impressive 4.73 out of 5, the event inspired 97% to visit Falmouth or other parts of Cornwall again.

John Hick, Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta Chairman, comments: “Falmouth has done it again – in the spirit of cooperation and partnership we have delivered a truly outstanding event. There were huge crowds, beautiful weather, the most beautiful ships to look at and everybody was happy, but most importantly the event provided long-term benefits and a lasting legacy. It demonstrated Falmouth’s impressive strength for partnership and it is because of this that the event was the success that it was.”

Falmouth Tall Ships Event Manager, Sam Groom, adds: “These results clearly highlight how well-organised events can deliver significant economic benefits and their importance to community wellbeing in terms of social outcomes.

“Overall 89% of businesses felt that the regatta was of great importance to the image of Falmouth and with the total media coverage valued at over £2 million, the event provided an unrivalled platform for showcasing Cornwall to the world.”

Richard Wilcox, Falmouth BID Manager, continues: “Falmouth certainly knows how to lay on an event! The Falmouth BID were delighted to be an Official Partner with a key focus on funding the economic evaluation of the Regatta so that we could gain an in-depth understanding of how such activity benefits destinations and business – and the evidence is clear. I am very pleased that Falmouth’s businesses capitalised upon and subsequently benefitted from the event.”

Councillor Julian German, Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture, concludes: “The Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta is a powerful example of how Cornwall’s unique culture can be embraced to garner significant economic and social benefit. Cornwall’s culture of maritime heritage and community enterprise underpinned the event adding value to the future prosperity of Cornwall.”

Economic impact highlights

• 197,000 attendees in total over the four days – 92,000 are estimated to be unique visitors to the event.

• Total associated event spend is estimated at £20.9 million.  This is all spend connected to those attending the event and includes spend at the event for all visitor types and spend away from the event for staying visitors for their entire stay (including accommodation costs).

• The total truly additional associated event spend is estimated at approximately £10.5 million.  This relates to the total number of attendees that were influenced to visit both Falmouth and Cornwall by the presence of the Tall Ships Regatta but also takes into account displacement and deadweight ie what would have happened anyway had the event not taken place.

• The regatta overall returned a healthy £25.89 of additional money into the Cornwall economy for every pound invested which would not have occurred without the presence of the event.

• Tall Ships was the main reason for choosing to visit Cornwall for 66% of visitors.

• 97% of all attendees indicated that they will visit Falmouth or other parts of Cornwall again in the future.

• The Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta, Falmouth and Cornwall all received very high recommendation scores of between +72% and +84% on a measure that can range from -100% to +100%.  The highest recommendation score was for Cornwall (+84%).

• Attendee satisfaction levels were very high, with overall enjoyment of visit rating 4.73 on a scale of 1-5.

• 72% of businesses said the overall impact of the regatta on their business has been very positive.

• 40% of businesses surveyed had extended their opening hours and 47% indicated that they had increased their levels of staff during the regatta.

• 86% of businesses said their business turnover has been higher than normal.  The actual average value of the increase in turnover as a result of the regatta was estimated at £10,097.  The average actual value of the decrease in turnover was estimated at £5,138.

• Overall, 99% of businesses felt that the regatta was of great importance to the overall image of Falmouth.

• Large Event of the Year finalist in the UK Event Awards 2014 – results announced 28 November

• Total media coverage generated valued at £2,334,619 – national media highlights include front page coverage of the Ships leaving Falmouth in The Guardian and The Times, coverage in The Independent, the i and the Daily Mirror.