Wednesday, 5 October 2011

All that is is cracked up to be?

Well, it seems that I'm not the only one urging a little caution when it comes to the economic impacts of the Rugby World Cup. Shamubeel Eaqub, the NZIER's principal economist, has (not for the first time) questioned the nature of the economic impacts - expressing very real doubts as to whether we will actually see an impact at all. For me, the evaluation needs to take place after the event itself - once the dust clouds have settled from the stampedes of all the RWC visitors leaving the country after enjoying what has been a generally pretty good tournament to date. Only then will we start to see more evidence (anecdotal and reported) of the true impact of the tournament on the host regions and, indeed, the country overall. It will also be interesting to see what happens to tourism after the event itself - will we get a surge of regular tourists come back when the event finishes, or will we see a drop in numbers? After the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Australian tourism took a three year dive. In some ways, the tournament comes at a 'perfect storm' economic scenario in light of domestic and international crises, and amidst a rather gloomy economic climate. If ever we were to see an impact, now would be the time. As to whether we will or not - time will tell. Rest assured, I will be looking at this very closely.

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