WRC Croatia Rally Expecting a Massive 350,000 Viewers

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the organisers of the WRC Croatia Rally, which will take place from the 21st to the 24th of April this year at 20 attractive stages through five Croatian counties – Zagreb, Karlovac, Krapina-Zagorje, Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Varazdin, presented a study on the socio-economic impact of the WRC (World Rally Championship) on the host countries.

“The WRC Croatia Rally is much more than a sporting competition. All of us who participate in its organisation, driven by passion, are committed to ideas and goals that outgrow the very popularisation of motorsport. We want to focus on Croatia, we want to create new contacts and partnerships and enable the presentation of Croatia to the world in the most beautiful light that this beautiful country truly deserves.

Of course, there is also a direct socio-economic benefit that we’ll present and prove in partnership with the Faculty of Economics at the University of Zagreb. Last but not least, we want to attract the attention of young people and direct them to responsible behaviour when they drive and lean them more towards environmental protection. For all this, we need help and close cooperation with the media, with whom we’d like to exploit the WRC Croatia Rally and motorsport as a whole through several segments, including STEM, IT, tourism, security, responsibility and promotion,” said Daniel Saskin, President of the WRC Croatia Rally.

Scientists from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Zagreb presented the results of the WRC Vodafone Portugal Rally 2019 Impact Study at a briefing, which looked at the image of the destination, tourism, the local economy and the environment, which was done after the last season with spectators and before the coronavirus pandemic.

A study by researchers at the Centre for Research, Development and Innovation in Tourism at the Algarve University looked into the impact on destination image, environmental impact and economic effects (the sociodemographic profile of the spectators, their opinion on the organisation of the events, and the assessment of both direct and indirect effects).

“There’s no doubt that large sporting events like this are an ideal tool for building national identity, creating a recognisable image and promoting tourist destinations. WRC competitions are very popular and strongly covered by the media around the world, which puts them in a group of very influential events that directly and indirectly generate significant socio-economic effects on the destinations in which they take place. In economic terms, this is primarily recognised in the significant inflow of money in the form of the direct spending of participants and investments by the organisers and hosts, but also should take into account the indirect economic activities such as strengthening value chains, creating new jobs and generous media rights. In the social context, largr sporting events are primarily a means of entertainment and socialising among people, but also a source of pride for local communities that are able to host such large competitions.

We’re very much looking forward to conducting more research and preparing a study on the assessment of the impact of the WRC Croatia Rally on the area of ​​Central Croatia. We expect a good response from all of our foreseen target groups, as well as interesting data and a quality basis for drawing conclusions. We believe that we’ll succeed in setting up a quality system for the continuous monitoring of the effects of this valuable event,” said Oliver Kesar, a full professor at the Department of Tourism at the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb.

This year, the WRC Croatia Rally expects a record number of spectators, namely, according to the organisers in special fan zones and along the track, the competition will be attended by more than 350,000 people from across the rest of Europe and many other countries around the world.

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