This summer’s Wales Airshow was worth a record £8.4 million to Swansea’s economy, a new study has found.
An independent economic impact study has found the two-day event generated more money for the city than ever before, also attracting the most visitors ever.
Swansea Council is behind the Wales Airshow, with Swansea University acting as the event’s main sponsor for 2017.
Over 250,000 people attended the Airshow in early July to enjoy performances from aircraft including the RAF Red Arrows, the Lauren Richardson bi-plane, a MiG-15 and the Bristol Blenheim.
Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Major Projects, said:
“The Airshow is now a key anchor event in our annual events programme in Swansea and these encouraging figures show that it’s continuing to grow in popularity.
“Not only did the event give world class entertainment to over 250,000 people, but it also generated a record £8.4 million for Swansea’s economy – that’s £600,000 more than last year. This is very important because it’s Swansea’s businesses who benefit from the influx of visitors and spending, from our hotels and bed and breakfasts to our shops, activity providers, restaurants and pubs.
“Along with other events and activities, the Airshow has a key role in supporting a tourism industry that’s worth over £400 million and 5,000 jobs every year for Swansea.
“Visitors commented in their dozens on the quality of the Airshow and its organisation. This type of research is important to understand the economic value of the event and to help inform future planning as we constantly strive to keep improving the Airshow.”
Face-to-face and online surveys carried out with hundreds of 2017 Airshow visitors show 92% would attend the event again in future, with 80% saying they’d visit every year. About 29% of people questioned were first-time visitors.
Staying visitors stayed an average of three nights in Swansea for the event, spending approximately £149 each on accommodation – a slight increase on previous years.
Other aircraft that took part in this summer’s Airshow included the Spitfire and the Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the Tigers parachute display team, the RAF Chinook, the RAF Typhoon and Gyro Air Displays.
Ground-based entertainment included RAF Red Arrows and Typhoon simulator rides, military trucks, display trailers, a climbing wall, trade stands, a fun fair, staged entertainment and performances from the Band of the HM Royal Marines Plymouth.