The 2019 World Cup in Japan was the most economically successful edition after generating £4.3 billion pounds in output, according to an E&Y report.
The Ernst & Young report, launched during a special webinar event in Tokyo on Wednesday, outlines how the World Cup generated £4.3bn in output and added £2.3bn to Japan’s GDP.
It attracted 242,000 international fans from 178 nations, who stayed an average of 17 days, visiting five cities on average. More than 60% of fans were visiting the country for the first time, while their daily spend was 4.6 times higher than that spent by the average visitor to Japan in 2018.
Aside from a record economic impact footprint, the tournament also created or sustained 46,000 jobs and 13,000 volunteer roles, many of which will be supporting the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.
The hosts’ ticketing strategy also proved successful with a total of 1.83 million tickets sold and a 99% attendance-versus-capacity rate – by far the most successful in World Cup history and among the most successful major sports events of all time.
Stadia packed with Japanese fans (more than 50% attending a rugby match for the first time) combined with joyous overseas fans created a special atmosphere, the performance of Japan’s national team –the Brave Blossoms –in reaching the quarter-finals for the first time played a leading role in boosting national pride with 90% of people in Japan believing that the hosting captured the nation’s imagination, boosting pride, excitement and engagement.
‘The outcomes of this comprehensive EY report reaffirm Japan 2019’s status as one of the great Rugby World Cups on and off the field,’ World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said. ‘It is also good news for France 2023 and interested nations and unions wishing to host in the future.
‘It reflects Rugby World Cup’s status as one of the best loved and most prestigious major sports events to host, while highlighting the significant social and economic benefits that make the tournament such an attractive low-risk, high-return on investment hosting proposition for governments and unions alike.’
With 769,000 children in Japan introduced to tag rugby in school because of the tournament and a strong performance by the national team, Japan Rugby Football Union President Shigetaka Mori says that the World Cup will continue to be a catalyst for rugby participation, popularity and profile in Japan.
‘I would like to express my most sincere appreciation to everyone involved in the success of the 2019 World Cup,’ Mori said.
‘We are determined to make sure that the valuable legacy left by this immeasurably successful tournament will live on, and we will continue to strive to make rugby a well-loved national sport in our country. If the opportunity arose again, we would be eager to demonstrate our intention to bid for future Rugby World Cups and make the Japan national team the world’s best team.’