The Ryder Cup boosted golf tourism in Wales by 21 per cent to nearly £42 million, a new study says.
A total of around 50,000 fans from across the globe attended the four-day event at the Celtic Manor Resort last October – which also featured major celebrities such as Oscar-winner Catherine Zeta Jones.
The figures were released today in a study for the Welsh Assembly Government.
They showed more than 200,000 “golf visitors” travelled to Wales last year – an increase of 9% compared with 2009.
According to the report, the number of overnight visitors rose by 12 per cent, with the average spend per person rising by £29.
And the number of international overnight visitors was up, and accounted for 16 per cent of the total golf tourism revenue, compared with 11 per cent in 2009 and 5 per cent in 2008.
Heritage minister Alun Ffred Jones said the Ryder Cup had “done wonders” for Wales.
He said: “The end of the Ryder Cup is just the beginning of another chapter for golf in Wales, the next chapter will be concerned with how we build on that legacy.”
Speaking during a press briefing at The Senedd, Cardiff, Mr Jones added he had recently met with Fifa president Sepp Blatter about plans to bring more international footballing events to the Millennium Stadium, such as European competitions.
He also said that tourism was worth around £4 billion to the Welsh economy, and efforts were being made to bring more major cultural festivals to Wales.
After initially deciding not to comment on what events these would be, Mr Jones changed his mind, telling members of the media that the world music showcase Womex was one event coming to the principality.
“Possibly we could have it for more than one year at a time,” he said. “That is the type of event which is good for business which would have benefits for the Welsh music scene as well.
“Also, as part of the major events strategy, Green Man Festival is being supported so it becomes more self-sufficient, and discussions are ongoing with Hay Festival to make it more of an event for Wales.”
Official figures into how much the Ryder Cup was worth to the Welsh economy are expected to be published next week.