Cup would give Portugal 550m boost

A successful 2018 Ryder Cup bid would have greater than three times the impact of Euro 2004 on Portugal’s economy.

A successful 2018 Ryder Cup bid would provide around EUR 550 million for Portugal’s economy – three times greater than the impact of Euro 2004.

It would create 14,000 jobs between 2011 and 2030, would generate around EUR 284 million in additional tax revenue and would also result in a positive and long-standing boost for Portugal’s reputation as a quality tourism destination, according to Deloitte, an international consultancy.

Deloitte set out to study the macroeconomic impact of staging the most important golf event in the world and they concluded a successful bid would have far-reaching consequences, not just in 2018 but beyond 2030.

Besides the revenues arising directly from the event, there are also: (1) Collateral Effects – those associated with staging an agreed number of European Tour tournaments; (2) Legacy Effects – the impact staging the Ryder Cup would have on visitor numbers and the number of rounds played; and (3) the impact it would have on the development, exploration and commercialisation of additional tourism projects in the region.

Portugal, with José Mourinho as ambassador, is bidding to play host to the 2018 Ryder Cup, along with Germany, France, Spain and Holland. The region’s unique natural setting, privileged location, mild climate and its determination to protect its natural environment and its determination to leave a lasting legacy for the country and its economy make it one of the favourites to win the bid.

The Portuguese bid, centred around the new Herdade da Comporta resort on the Alentejo coast, also benefits from its proximity to Lisbon, with visitors being able to combine golf with a city break in one of the cultural capitals of Europe.

Besides the increase in tourism revenues, Deloitte estimates a very considerable impact in terms of growth of national wealth through the inflow of foreign capital to Portugal. Portugal’s hosting of the Ryder Cup will have an impact of EUR 1,276 million on the Gross Added Value (VAB), the equivalent, in annual terms, of 42.8 percent of the GAV of Autoeuropa, Volkswagen’s car plant in Setúbal.

This sum is arrived at by adding the impact of the event – Ryder Cup, European Tour events and legacy effect – to the increase in tourism demand induced by the anticipation of the exploration of tourism projects in the Alentejo Litoral, and the region’s consolidation as an attractive tourism destination.

Furthermore, the organisation of the event will generate additional tax revenues in the amount of EUR 284 million, while giving a significant contribution to the balance of payments through a supplementary foreign capital inflow of EUR 1.6 billion, the equivalent, in average annual terms, of 4.5 percent of foreign direct investment in Portugal.

Hosting the Ryder Cup will also accelerate tourism development in the Alentejo Litoral, bringing forward job creation in construction and the hotel business corresponding to an average 14,000 jobs per year between 2011 and 2030.

The high spending power of golf tourists is another important factor, should Portugal win the bid for the Ryder Cup with the average daily expenditure of a golf tourist being EUR 370, compares to the EUR 170 daily expenditure of tourists in other sports events held in Portugal.

Deloitte estimates that the organisation of the Ryder Cup will induce an economic acceleration effect worth EUR 3,650 million between 2010 and 2020.

Almost one year after entering the race to stage the 2018 Ryder Cup, Portugal is now one of the strongest candidates, having provided proof that it meets all the conditions to tackle and win this challenge.

One of the major objectives of the Portuguese bid is to boost golf’s profile in the country and to increase player numbers, especially among the young. An Olympic sport in 2016, golf is increasingly seen as a mass sport, leaving behind its former image of an elitist and exclusive game. The organisation of the Ryder Cup in Portugal will enhance this development, as happened in Spain with the 1997 Ryder Cup.

The tourism development project is founded on a concept of full harmony with the surrounding environment and high level of quality where low population density is one of the strongest factors.

In order to receive the best players in the world, an exceptional new golf course – the Comporta Links – will be built from scratch in accordance with the highest standards established by Ryder Cup Europe and the best environmental sustainability practices. The project is integrated in the Legacy Programme of the Golf Environmental Organization.

The golf course – which will establish a new international milestone – will be designed by Tom Fazio, a North-American architect who designed some of the world’s best golf courses, in partnership with European Golf Design (EGD), a reference at European level.

Recently the Portuguese bid received an important sign of confidence, when José Sócrates, the Portuguese Prime Minister, expressed the government’s full commitment to win the Ryder Cup 2018.

The wave of enthusiasm surrounding this national goal has been gaining momentum and already earned the support of various entities from, among others, the hotel business, tourism, golf and sports in general, which further stresses the importance of the event’s economic and strategic impact.

The decision will be known in April 2011.