The excitement of India hosting the ICC World Cup is palpable. The ICC World Cup is cricket’s grandest event that is bringing 10 nations this season to India to compete for the World Cup. The country is witnessing a surge of tourism from national and international fans who are here to support their favorite teams. 5th October 2023 marked the beginning of the World Cup in the cricket frenzy nation of India. As India hosts 9 international teams in the country with their support staff, we can only imagine the mammoth boost this will provide to the local economies.
When we look beyond the cricketing glory and thrill of matches, there is another aspect of this mega event – the economic impact. While it is a matter of national pride to host the ICC World Cup 2023, it also acts as a catalyst for economic growth and development in the country. From increased tourism and boost to local business, the impact of hosting an event as mammoth as the ICC World Cup extends beyond the cricket field.
Stats on the Indian economy as World Cup hosts
Inside Sport reports that ‘as per estimates by BQ Prime, the World Cup 2023 will give a boost to the Indian economy as India’s GDP will see a rise of 0.048%. This will be the highest compared to what the previous versions of the World Cup did to other host countries.’
Another report by Inside Sports states – ‘$1.6 Billion boost to Indian GDP as ICC World Cup set to topple past editions.’ This roughly translates to 13,500 INR crore keeping in mind the current exchange rate.
We can comprehend from this how hosting the World Cup is offering a boost to the Indian economy. This is a multifaceted boost that is spread across various sectors. Let’s understand how this surge in the economy is coming through from various sectors:
Aviation and airport services
Cricket fans are traveling from overseas and within Indian states to different host cities. This is leading to a surge in air travel to and within India. Air ticket prices are exponentially high, especially when it comes to Ahmedabad tickets for the much-anticipated India vs. Pakistan match.
The Economic Times reports that ‘An economy-class Delhi-Ahmedabad ticket is priced Rs. 7,000 on October 14, a day before the India-Pakistan match in the city. This ticket is priced at nearly Rs. 2,800 in August and September. The Mumbai-Ahmedabad route on October 14 has also turned pricey, with a ticket going for Rs. 5,000. In August and September, the price is Rs. 2,100.’
Local airports in India are experiencing an increase in demand for cabs, porter services, and other services. This is leading to the development of infrastructural improvements. Offering additional employment opportunities.
When fans travel to host cities, they need to book a hotel room. A tremendous spike has been noted in cities across India for hotel bookings. Room rates are soaring during the match dates across host cities.
An article in the Economic Times reports how over 80% of the rooms are pre-booked for match dates. Hyatt, one of India’s leading five-star hotels is charging INR 1,10,00 for a night during match dates while the same room cost in August and September was under INR 7,500. They also go on to mention that Radisson Blu and ITC are charging INR 28,000 TO INR 35,000 for the same dates when these rooms go for INR 9999 as noted during August and September.
This surge in the hospitality sector shows us how the matches are creating a ripple effect in the hospitality sector which will trickle down to the local business as tourists will tend to explore the local culture and cuisine.
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Local F&B sector
When it comes to the restaurants and local vendors, the demand is skyrocketing. Catering to both tourists and locals who are opting to dine out or dine in (home delivery). As we proceed into the World Cup season, more people will watch the matches with their friends and family. This will boost the local restaurants who will thrive as people celebrate the vivacious cricket season. Local eateries and upscale restaurants prepare with wide screens for screening matches while local roadside eateries thrive on radio and makeshift TV to keep the locals engaged. People gather to savor delicious meals and spend time with friends and family.
Rise in local tourism
Several fans are traveling within India to different host cities and international travellers are making their way to India to experience the World Cup. However, that is not the only thing they will experience, they are likely to tour the country’s tourist destinations nearby host cities. Boosting the tourism sector in the country via sales of local train tickets, air tickets, local events and shows, handicrafts, souvenirs, and other services.
Many brands are part of the sponsorship for the ICC World Cup and are selling merchandise and memorabilia. This is a widely popular category for fans as they will fly across cities for the World Cup. Whether they invest in a jersey, a hat, or a ball to take with them as a memory, World Cup merchandise is in high demand. Many local brands are also creating their own version of cricket merchandise that is further stimulating the economy.
BCCI has made significant investments to upkeep the stadium infrastructure and renovations across the country. This has led to a rise in seasonal employment stimulating construction and maintenance sectors. Some of these jobs are for maintenance and upkeep of the stadiums that are bound to be there till the World Cup ends.
Festive season spendings
Let’s not forget this season of the ICC World Cup is right during the busiest season in India. The festive season brings with it Dussehra, Diwali, and Bhai Dhuj amongst other festivals. This is the season of cultural events and celebrations across the nation. Offering the tourists an opportunity to experience Indian festive celebrations and cultural activities. It will boost the local economy at grassroots levels with cultural tourism events.
It’s undeniable that as the host of the World Cup, India is providing a significant boost to its economy. This a true testament to how sports events hold the power to bring people together and can foster economic prosperity.