The 2010 Tri-Nations contributed $174.3m to the sport tourism economy across the southern hemisphere, with Johannesburg, Sydney and Christchurch enjoying revenue windfalls by hosting the top rugby tournament.
According to the new study by Mastercard, the addition of Argentina to the competition in 2012 will increase its value to as much as $213.1m. This would value the Tri-Nations and Six Nations collectively at $800m.
The report for Mastercard, carried out by the Centre for the International Business of Sport (CIBS) at Coventry University, indicates “a commercially strong picture for southern hemisphere rugby”.
It says Sydney could be $28m better-off from having hosted the Australia v New Zealand final, the largest single economic impact from a Tri Nations fixture.
Meanwhile Johannesburg and Christchurch are also set for windfalls of $19.6m and $12m respectively, having hosting two of the matches.
Dr Anna Semens, research fellow at CIBS and Mastercard’s advisor on the business of rugby, said “rugby is clearly booming and providing a considerable economic boost to the southern hemisphere”.
She added: “The Tri Nations will continue to provide a sizeable economic impact into the future.”
Johannesburg is currently riding the crest of a sport tourism wave, having hosted the FIFA 2010 World Cup over the summer. The city also played host to World Sport Destination Expo, the first annual exhibition and business forum dedicated to showcasing the $600 billion a year sport tourism industry.