I wonder if it’s too early for Government to be boasting about cricket ticketing revenue?
In today’s Daily Nation column, Issues and Ideas, Ezra Alleyne boasts ‘that ticket sales of the order of $24 million have been raked in by the Barbados Government, before a single ball was bowled at Kensington Oval’.
But what does this prove?
In an article carried by BBC News entitled ‘Cricket World Cup – hit or flop?’ by Soutik Biswas published 19th April 2007, the writer makes some interesting observations.
Take for instance the game that was played between Ireland and Bangladesh, which was expected to be an India versus Pakistan match.
According to Mr Biswas, ‘many Indian and Pakistani fans had snapped up 22,334 tickets for this match in advance, assuming it would be the clash of the South Asia rivals’
Then he surprisingly says that ‘the island (Barbados) was expecting 5,500 Indian visitors for these games’ and goes on ‘But Petra Roach of the Barbados Tourism Authority says only 800 have turned up’.
This despite Barbados tourism authorities having ‘made four trips to India’ in the run-up to the tournament to woo cricket fans and tourists alike’.
So 22,334 tickets pre-sold for a single match but only a total of 800 turning up!
So when Mr Alleyne declares Government had a ‘$24 million vision’, how does this vision relate to economic benefit to the country?
If the quoted figures are accurate, then some 21,534 out of 22,334 persons for one game alone would have not taken a taxi from the airport, stayed at a hotel or villa, eat in one or more of our restaurants, hire a car, taken a catamaran cruise or visited an attraction.
In fact the loss of 21,534 long stay visitors, based on average stay and spend would amount to a whopping US$23 million or a massive 75,369 unoccupied room nights.
So actual ticket sales gives absolutely no indication of exactly how well financially the country has done.
20 April 2007