Melbourne: England’s “Barmy Army” of travelling cricket fans helped boost the Australian economy by $265 million during the Ashes and one-day series, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Tuesday. An Economic Impact Study released by CA and the Australian government found that the Ashes and subsequent one-day series helped attract some 37,000 international visitors to Australia.
The research found more that 60% came to Australia because of the Ashes contest and each visitor spent an average of $8,800 during their trip, staying for an average of 30 days.
Australia hammered England 5-0 in the Ashes, but the tourists won the subsequent one-day series.
CA Chief Executive James Sutherland said he doubted whether Australia’s continued dominance on the field would dissuade English supporters coming in similar numbers for future tours.
“Obviously some of our English visitors may have been put off by the result, or the result may have been a disappointment to them,” Sutherland told reporters in Melbourne on Tuesday.
“There is no indicator we have at the moment to say that cricket and the public’s interest in cricket is being held back by the performances of the Australian cricket team.”
The series, one of the most eagerly anticipated in years after England regained the Ashes in 2005, created 793 jobs and sold more than 813,000 tickets, generating $15.6 million in revenue.
Sutherland said he did not expect to see such revenues from the summer’s tests against India and Sri Lanka, but added that he would be working with Tourism Australia, who have opened an office in Mumbai, to generate as much interest as possible.
“Different countries have more of a propensity to travel and certainly we, in conjunction with Tourism Australia, are very interested to see whether we can get more Indians to come to the cricket than we’ve seen in previous years.
“Obviously the Indian economy is a growing economy and there’s a lot more travel going on there.”