Madrid, (EFE).- The influence of major sporting events in the tourism industry and its growing impact on the economy were the focus this Thursday of the Tourism and Sport Forum organized by EFE Sport Business, with the collaboration from Best Option Media.

Feliciano López, director of the Mutua Madrid Open, Javier Guillén, general manager of La Vuelta ciclista a España, Fede Segarra, communication director of Damm, and Inmaculada Benito, director of the Department of Tourism and Sports of the CEOE, agreed on the link between the two sectors, to generate 3.1 million trips to Spain for sporting reasons and an associated expenditure of 1,379 million euros.

Mutua Madrid Open director Feliciano López speaks at the ‘Sport and Tourism’ event organized as part of the 7th edition of the EFE Sport Business Days. EFE/David Fernandez

The tennis player and director of the Madrid tournament presented data from a study by the European University of Madrid, which assesses the impact of the same last year at 130.9 million euros, with an average expenditure of 644 euros for each spectator, and an average stay of 5.4 days for fans from abroad

“26% of the participants were foreigners, 1 in 4 from 50 different nationalities, and 35% from other regions of Spain. These are very interesting numbers. In terms of tourism in the city, this is an important distinction because these people stay in Madrid, consume and go out,” he said.

According to him, this “positions the city” of Madrid at the international level, which “understood that the tournament gives it incredible international visibility”.

“Next year we have a nearly 15 day tournament for men and women and more people will visit us. Madrid’s name is seen all over the world. When I go to many cities, many people tell me that they want to come and experience Spanish culture,” he added, after confirming that next season he will play a few tournaments before retiring.

The general manager of La Vuelta, Javier Guillén, participates in the “Sport and Tourism” event organized within the framework of the VII edition of the EFE Sport Business Day. EFE/David Fernandez

El director general of La Vuelta, Javier Guillén, assured that the Spanish round “sells riqueza turística y territorio a 400 milliones de spectadores” during three weeks and “is present in 180 countries”, with an audiencia de unos 400 milliones de spectadores al término of the same.

“We have an advantage and that is that in addition to showing a great brand, we also show a product with beaches, monuments and landscapes. When La Vuelta announces that she is coming to a new place, or just after she passes, there is a niche of people who will meet her and try to do it on their bikes. It is an important tourist fabric thanks to the fact that La Vuelta highlights it”, he underlined.

Guillén resaltó that “el ciclismo tiene la capacidad de ir de pueblo en pueblo” y “es un orgullo que La Vuelta pase por tu tierra”, a la vez that avanzó que aunque el recorrido de 2023 no está cerrado la ronda “podría salir fuera from Spain”. “We want there to be an international touch,” he said.

Impact of sport on Spanish GDP

The director of the Tourism and Sports department of the CEOE, Inmaculada Benito, spoke about the impact of sport on the Spanish GDP, “which amounts to more than 39,000 million”, and the connection of sporting events in the hospitality industry , since “70% of trips made at the weekend for sporting reasons go to the hotel”.

“At the CEOE, we work to recognize the work of the sports industry so that it takes its rightful place. There are destinations that remain open in low and mid season precisely thanks to sport,” he commented.

Fede Segarra, communication director of the firm Damm, sponsor of FC Barcelona and owner of the World Padel Tour, also spoke of the return that this alliance represents for a company with 146 years of history, which “would not be what it is today without sport”.

“We invite 22,000 people to experience a sporting event thanks to our sponsorship. Of these, 40% do not live in this city. This generates economic activity for Spain. Sport has given us an amazing platform to raise awareness of our brand and associate it with the values ​​of sport. 60 years ago, the company saw in sport the opportunity to make itself known,” he concluded.

Web edition: Marina González

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