Sandy Park in Exeter will host three games of the Rugby World Cup and all indications are that spending in Devon's capital will go up significantly as a result of the big sporting event.
Latest research from The South West Research Company indicates that visitor spend within the Exeter economy grew by 16.90% to £195.6 million from 2011 to 2012 and the city attracted over 2.2 million visitors in the same period a growth
The City Council is about to carry out some research into the expected economic benefits of the Rugby World Cup 2015 and says that it believes the forecast will be good for Exeter.
Cllr Rosie Denham, Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture, said: "The latest figures for Exeter are very encouraging. In just over 18 months time the eyes of the world will be on Exeter and we are very optimistic that the Rugby World Cup will bring thousands of extra people into the city from home and abroad.
"Exeter is a fantastic city that has much to offer and this combined with the games at Sandy Park and a real match atmosphere in our Fanzone in the city centre is going to provide a real boost for Exeter's economy."
Research undertaken by Visit England has shown that because of the economic downturn, more people are making domestic trips, with destinations like Exeter and Devon benefitting.
The main points arising from comparisons from 2011 to 2012 include:
Broken down into where visitors spend money whilst on holiday in Exeter:
Cllr Denham added: “This makes great reading for Exeter. Developments that have happened in the city over the previous couple of years have improved the offering and this in turn has attracted more people to visit and stay. With Exeter being a Host City for Rugby World Cup 2015, this will also enhance our reputation as a cultural short break destination.”
New developments that have improved Exeter's offering include John Lewis, Magdalen Chapter Hotel, two Premier Inn hotels, various development at the University of Exeter , the Quay Climbing Centre, Haven Banks Outdoor Educational Centre, Tuckers Hall, the Bike Shed Theatre, Southernhay House Hotel, improvements to Central Train Station and numerous restaurant and shop openings.
Planned city developments will further improve the appeal of Exeter to the short break and day visitor market, including the redevelopment of the bus station, a new IKEA store, further hotel openings, developments at Exeter Cathedral and Sandy Park, and the launch of the Exe Estuary Trail.
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