Tuesday, February 05 10:52:54
Ireland's two home Six Nations encounters are likely to generate more than E30m for the national economy, according to Dublin Chamber of Commerce.
The matches between England and France will attract 16,000 supporters for the two teams, the first of these takes place this Sunday (10th February) against England, while Ireland v France will take place on Saturday 9th March.
Gina Quin, Dublin Chamber Chief Executive said, "Sports tourism has become big business for the tourism sector and international events such as these give a boost to the national economy. Dublin's hospitality sector in particular relies on major events, from the Six Nations and Heineken Cup, to international concerts and festivals. While businesses closest to the city centre usually report the greatest increase in sales during match weeks, corporate hospitality businesses in the surrounding counties of Kildare, Wicklow and Meath have also reported a boost."
Global estimates show that sports tourism accounts for roughly 10pc of the international tourism market, which is reported at E440 billion. In Ireland, as part of The Gathering 2013, sporting events represent 19pc of the planned 'Gatherings'.
Dublin Chamber also estimates that the Heineken Cup Final which takes place in Dublin in May, could generate up to E18 million from travelling supporters.
"This estimate of course depends on who goes to the final and the number of travelling international fans they bring. We're hopeful that Munster or Ulster Rugby can make sure an Irish team will be represented in the Final. Whoever makes it to the Aviva Stadium in May, Dublin will demonstrate that it's a top destination for international sports events," concluded Ms Quin.