The National Ploughing Championships generated an economic impact of €36m per year when they were held in Athy, according to a study carried out at the 2011 Championships by University College Dublin.
The Championships were held in Cardenton, Athy, every year between 2009 and 2011.
Results of the economic impact study were revealed last week at the annual general meeting of the National Ploughing Association. Key findings included: visitors to the championships spent just under €36.5m during the three days of the event. This spending resulted in a tax take of over €6.6m for the National Exchequer; 80 per cent of attendees at the event are not local; the age profile is 37 per cent female, 63 per cent male; machinery is the main attraction in the trade exhibition; personal shopping accounted for over €7m; and trade purchases were in excess of €9.6m.
The study also revealed that hotels, B&Bs, public houses, food outlets and service stations in the area all stated that they experienced a dramatic increase in trade due to the championships.
Speaking at the AGM, managing director Anna May McHugh said: “This report highlights huge economic positives that the event brings to the local community. The association would have been aware that based on average annual attendances of 180,000 people, the spin-off for the local hospitality industry must be significant but we had no idea to what extent until now. This report highlights and confirms the positive impact the event has on the locality not only from a commercial perspective but also from a rural and social perspective.”
The National Ploughing Association also launched the 2012 Trade Exhibition Pack at the AGM confirming that early indications of exhibitor interest are above previous years. In addition to last year’s exhibitors, hundreds of new enquiries have been received for this year’s Championships in Heathpark, New Ross, Co Wexford from 25th – 27th September.