Almost 1000 jobs were created and $58 million was injected into the Wollongong economy by the UCI Road World Championships last September, a new report released by the organiser claims.
Six months after the event took over Wollongong for a week, the economic impact report by global accounting giant Ernst & Young (EY) says 96,000 unique visitors, including 41,000 from outside Wollongong, came to the event and spent hundreds each night.
The report was commissioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) which ran the event.
"The event generated more than 35.6 million Euros [$58 million] in economic activity for the host city and region, with the equivalent of 930 jobs created over a year," the UCI said.
The Mercury has been seeking answers from Wollongong City Council and state tourism body Destination NSW about the economic impact for several weeks.
The council, whose draft Budget shows it spent $288,000 on the "operational bulk" of the UCI, has said it did not have figures on visitor numbers and would not be able to estimate the economic impact for some months.
When asked about visitor numbers and economic impact, Destination NSW said only that "had yet to finalise its assessment of the event".
In their absence the EY report, published from London on Wednesday, stands alone for the public to gain a sense of the impact on their region.
EY said 97 per cent of visitors said they were satisfied with their experience.
"This satisfaction was reflected in their positive view of Wollongong ... 88 per cent of Australian visitors from other regions and 74 per cent of visitors from other countries would recommend Wollongong as a holiday destination."
EY said it conducted surveys of team members, media and visitors and used these to inform its calculations. It said visitors spend an average of $224 a night in Wollongong, while international visitors spent $332 a night.
It is not clear how the attendance figures were arrived at. The report's methodology section does not go into detail about the employment creation estimate, or explain the round figures of 96,000 and 41,000.
The EY report admitted it doesn't paint the whole picture of the whole impact on the city. The authors wrote that they did not consider any negative economic impacts, such as businesses forced to shut by road closures.
"Disruption, such as to the transport network, which may in turn result in reduced economic activity, is not explicitly captured within this study," it states.
"However, is it likely that the majority of economic activity that is disrupted over the course of the events will be displaced to periods prior or following the events, while the approach to additionality aims to include only impacts that are net additions to the region."
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