Test match tour of England positive for Caribbean economy

With the increased demand for information regarding the value of cricket events to the Caribbean economy, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) commissioned an economic impact evaluation on the 2015 England tour of the Caribbean. The information garnered focused on the three islands where the Test Matches were hosted Antigua, Barbados and Grenada.

Following a comprehensive report done by REPUCOM, the figures show the positive impact the tour had on the host islands. The overall direct economic impact for the region was estimated at US$59.8 million at an average of US$5.1 million a day spend.

The tour attracted 34.3 per cent visitors (15,660) of the overall 45,640 spectators who attended the games. The report also highlighted that the direct economic impact of spectator spend was US$50.1 million. Antigua boasts the highest economic impact estimated at US$22 million, followed by Grenada with US$21.9 million and Barbados US$19.5 million.

The Barbados game although ending in three days had the highest spend with an estimated US$6.5 million a day. There was an average media value of $10 million per island which was generated by a cumulative audience of over 3.64 million viewers.

Grenada reported the highest total spend by spectators, largely due to the highest accommodation revenue generated, the report stated; while Antigua reported the highest return on areas like ticketing, sponsorship and broadcasting. Notes in the report suggested that this was due to the fact that the WICB secretariat is based in Antigua.

The series which was drawn was a positive result for the home team with an exciting draw in game one in Antigua; in the second, England won by nine wickets, but home team won by five wickets in game three in Barbados in a three-day encounter.
The evaluation was done on five specific areas to include economic impact, social impact, event experience, sponsorship and media impact.

Some of the general feedback from the other areas suggest there is a recall of test sponsors; while socially 50 per cent of the parents said they were inspired enough to encourage their children to play cricket. As a destination the three host countries were given a 77.6 per cent ‘very good’ rating for the hosting of the games.

Reacting to the evaluation, WICB Chief Executive Officer, Michael Muirhead stated “the report underscores the point we have consistently made that hosting events in the region has a positive outcome. We are always making every effort to improve the product. The drawn series was also a factor and fans for the last game were given a treat.”

Fans around the three islands were happy for the tour and noted that “the series showcased the countries, created a buzz and can be a catalyst to increasing tourism arrivals.”

As the regional tournaments continue with the Professional Cricket League (PCL) and the upcoming NAGICO Super 50, the CEO noted, “we are committed to increasing the amount of cricket being played in the region showcasing our best talent in the game.”

The next international series is scheduled for June 6 – 26, 2016 and will feature home team along with South Africa and Australia in a One Day International (ODI) Tri Series.