A number of major events held during July have really helped to boost the Milton Keynes economy.
From the Foo Fighters’ concerts at The National Bowl and the JLS concert at Stadium:MK, to the Super Bike World Championships and the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Milton Keynes welcomed an exceptional number of visitors during the month. Another, first time event, held at Stadium:mk was the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Conference which saw over 24,000 people attend over three days at the end of July.
In addition to this, April saw the Northampton Saints staging their Heineken Cup quarter final against Ulster and their semi-final against French side Perpignan, both at Stadium:mk, bringing in thousands of overseas fans to the city.
Destination Milton Keynes (DMK), the official tourism and information provider for the city, has been working with some of the providers to try to establish the economic impact on local business. A recent study by Northampton Saints showed around 3,500 Ulster fans travelled to Milton Keynes and it is estimated that the average expenditure was £250 per person, with the majority going on food and drink (38%) followed by hotels/accommodation (23%). The overall estimated income from this match alone was just under £1m but this excludes any spend from the 18,000 Saints supporters on food and drink.
The Association of Milton Keynes Hoteliers also carried out research with its 22 members to estimate the spend on accommodation over the Foo Fighters concert weekend. It conservatively estimates that the income from this was around £640,000 but this doesn’t include any food, drink, transport and additional entertainment that the fans would have spent extra on.
This has had a hugely positive impact on the visitor services that Destination Milton Keynes provides, not just for these major events, but also for the day-to-day enquiries from people wanting to stay in the area and experience what Milton Keynes has to offer.
During June and July the Destination Milton Keynes website received over 38,000 visits with over 100,000 page views. Through its dedicated on-line accommodation booking service run on behalf of its members, it has helped thousands of visitors find somewhere to stay. For the Foo Fighters’ concerts, the website provided a dedicated information page which included the latest travel, parking, running times and accommodation information. Numerous concert goers called the information line to find somewhere to stay, or to get general information about the area.
Jackie Inskipp, General Manager at DMK, commented; “These types of large events help to establish Milton Keynes in the international leisure market, and will ultimately enhance MK’s reputation as a destination to invest in. It shows what a real difference major events can make to Milton Keynes. They provide a much needed revenue stream for our accommodation providers, but more than that, they also give us an opportunity to promote the city to a wider, national and international audience.”