PORTSMOUTH is enjoying a fresh surge in popularity thanks to this summer’s America’s Cup World Series.
Statistics pulled together by event bosses reveal 88 per cent of visitors who came from outside the city say they would like to come back for a day trip.
It’s been calculated 245,460 spectators in total came to see the Portsmouth-based Land Rover BAR race against global sailing teams over the four-day regatta off Southsea Common in July.
The bulk of those visitors – 139,086 – came for the ‘Big Saturday’ race day which saw Olympic hero Sir Ben Ainslie inspire the Brits to victory.
About 25,000 people enjoyed the action from boats on the water and all of the city’s hotels were fully booked.
And now preparations are under way for the America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth next year.
It’s a great sign for next year’s World Series in Portsmouth and great for the city’s reputation, building on the success of having Ben Ainslie and the British America’s Cup team here in Portsmouth for the next decade.Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council
World Series event director Leslie Greenhalgh said: ‘One of the key objectives of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth is to promote the city and its attractions to the attending event audience.
‘The post event research has highlighted that 88 per cent of non-residents that attended are likely to return again to Portsmouth for a day trip – this is great news and we look forward to building on this success and encouraging further economic value for Portsmouth.
‘Next year’s event takes place between 21 and 24 July; we are well under way with the event planning and hope to release event information by end of October with tickets going on sale in November.’
Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘The figures have exceeded my expectations.
‘It’s a great sign for next year’s World Series in Portsmouth and great for the city’s reputation, building on the success of having Ben Ainslie and the British America’s Cup team here in Portsmouth for the next decade.’
Tory culture and leisure boss Linda Symes said: ‘It’s fantastic – we have got so much to offer here now.’
The media coverage of Portsmouth during the World Series is thought to be worth £18m. A full breakdown of the event’s success will feature in an economic report due to be published later this month.
The second World Series of 2015 was staged in Gothenburg last month, where Emirates Team New Zealand emerged as victors followed by Oracle Team USA and Land Rover BAR in third.
Next stop is Bermuda where the third and final America’s Cup qualifier of 2015 takes place between October 16 and 18.