Survey outlines Heritage's economic impact

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Survey data show that since 2001, The Heritage Golf Tournament, a PGA Tour event, has resulted in nearly $660 million in spending by visitors and the Heritage Classic Foundation.

During this year's tournament from April 12 to 18, the total output attributable to visitor spending was $81.90 million, according to a survey conducted by Clemson University's International Institute for Tourism Research and Development.

The survey was conducted in a seven-day period during the 2010 Verizon Heritage with 1,891 spectators. 

The research found that more than half or 55 percent of the spectators make than $100,000, 64% have a college degree and 62 percent are business decision makers who are 55 and older.

Including the projected economic impact for 2011 to 2015, the event's total economic impact of the tournament between 2001 and 2015 is more than $1 billion, with net state government revenues growing to nearly $100 million, and net local government revenues growing to $44 million, according to the research.

Among the survey findings:
1. Direct spending (estimate of actual expenditures by visitors and the foundation) = $72.30 million
2. Wage bill  (payroll to support economic activity) = $35.05 million
3. The number of jobs supported by economic activity = 1,115
4. Net government revenues (taxes and other fees generated by economic activity minus expenses incurred) = Local: $4.09 million and SC: $8.56 million
5. Total output (total impact including direct, indirect, and induced effects) = $81.90 million

Researchers concluded:

  • Location was the top reason for attending The Heritage
  • The average Heritage visitor spends $345 per day
  • 85% have attended the Heritage several times
  • 61% of Heritage Spectators live outside Beaufort County
  • 57% of Heritage Spectators play golf at least once during their stay
  • 71.2% of respondents with a permanent residence outside of Beaufort County said The Heritage was the primary purpose of their trip to Hilton Head
  • 62% of respondents with a permanent residence outside of Beaufort Countysaid they  they would be unsure, unlikely or very unlikely to visit the area if the tournament was no longer held there

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