Cape Town counts rugby sevens riches

South African Rugby Union (SARU) has approached the City of Cape Town to put in a bid to host the World Rugby Sevens Series during the 2019 – 2022 financial years.

It comes after a successful hosting of the South African leg of the showcase tournament between 2016-18. The city said that the highly popular international event’s contribution to its gross domestic product (GDP) increased from R539 million in 2015 to R765 million in 2017.

“Council’s approval grants the city authority to submit a bid for the tournament for the next three financial years, 2019 – 2022,” said the city’s mayoral committee member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos.

“Should we be successful, the City of Cape Town, the Cape Town Stadium RF (SOC Limited) and SARU will negotiate and formalise a Memorandum of Agreement that will stipulate the rights and responsibilities of each party,” he said.

He added that the city will provide support in the amount of R2.5 million per financial year for event-related services.

Tourism boost

According to statistics provided by Vos, the tournament has proven to be popular among both local and international tourists.

“The event was a resounding success earlier this month and it was indeed a privilege to showcase Cape Town as the world-class city it is,” he said.

“The local fans and visitor ‘gees’ was tangible and spending in the city over the Rugby 7s weekend was phenomenal.”

Vos said that the spectator profile over the years was made up on average of 34% of locals (Cape Town), 21% from the Western Cape, 22% from the rest of South Africa and 23% from international visitors.

The top five spectator markets were England, Scotland, Kenya, New Zealand and the USA.

“Given that most of the spectators were from outside of Cape Town, this influx of visitors translated into a significant economic boost for the local economy,” he said.

“Most of the international visitors extend their stay beyond the tournament dates which further boosts the local tourism economy.

“This in turn holds immense benefits for the City’s residents by way of job creation, support for local businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Vos.

Read: South Africans can visit these 94 countries without a visa in 2019

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Cape Town counts rugby sevens riches