Cheltenham Festival: Study finds £274m boost to economy – BBC

The 2022 Cheltenham Festival was worth an estimated £274m to the local economy, a study has found.
The University of Gloucestershire asked visitors to the horse racing event held at Cheltenham Racecourse to complete an online survey as part of its research.
The figure represents a large increase on the £100m total calculated at the 2016 event, which was the last time a similar study was done.
This year's Cheltenham Festival is being held between 14-17 March.
Dr Charles Afriyie, senior lecturer in accounting at the University of Gloucestershire, said more than 4,000 racegoers had provided details of the amount they had spent in categories including travel, accommodation, entertainment and refreshments.
He said they then studied the responses to get a better sense of the spending behaviour of visitors.
"We got the sense that people were arriving earlier than we anticipated. Of course the one-day attendees are still high but people are arriving a day or two before they attend and staying a day or two after," said Dr Afriyie.
"The biggest chunk was around entertainment and refreshments so about half is going to these two. It is fascinating to see how the festival has continued to grow," he added.
Dr Afriyie said the university plans to continues its research into the festival to also consider its wider social impact.
"We are interested in drilling a bit further down into some of the choices that people make and what that means to us as a society," he added.
The event is held over four days but research found that more than half of racegoers were one-day visitors and that the average expenditure of guests had increased from £584 in 2016 to £697 in 2022.
Ian Renton, The Jockey Club's regional managing director, said Cheltenham Racecourse had welcomed a record crowd of 280,627 in 2022 and that understanding the value of the event to the town was "really important".
"To know that £274m is coming into the town over the week of the festival is great for us," he said.
Mr Renton said that the racecourse had "strong" links with the local community and would be running its Love Our Turf campaign during the festival to promote racegoers showing respect to residents and businesses.
"We know we have the counterbalance of the best part of a quarter of a million racegoers being here and have a campaign in place ensuring all racegoers show respect to local residents. It's getting that balance right," he added.
Cheltenham Festival returned in full in 2022 after receiving criticism for going ahead as the Coronavirus pandemic began in 2020 and taking place behind closed doors in 2021 due to virus restrictions.
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