Showgrounds event expected to give PMB a R25 million boost

2010-07-23 00:00

ANALYSTS estimate that next weekend’s UCI BMX World Championships, to be held at the Royal Showgrounds, will bring in about R25 million for Pietermaritzburg and its surrounding areas.

Participants from 38 nations are entered for the event, with 1 100 riders and an estimated 2 000 family, supporters and team support crew due to come to the region in the days ahead of the championships.

Conservative estimates based on 2 200 international visitors — each of whom will be spending five days in the city, taking an average of three days to see the sights in the region and spending an average of R1 200 on accommodation, food, travel and entertainment per day — are that the event will result in a R21,1 million inflow into the local economy.

Over the four days of the competition, event organisers expect a direct spend of over R3 million at the event and on related goods and merchandise, bringing the total direct spend attributable to the event to about R25 million.

However, marketing experts say the real value to Pietermaritzburg could well be four times that, as the impact of the city being screened live on 28 major television networks has huge marketing and tourism value, particularly after the World Cup.

“Don’t put away your flags just yet, because Pietermaritzburg’s World Cup is just about to start!” said the city’s director of tourism, Melanie Veness.

Tickets will cost R35 for a daily access ticket or R70 for a guaranteed seating ticket, and they can be bought at the gate.

For spectators, parking will be available at Voortrekker High School.

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